Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Faith on the Frontstretch: Finding Support for the 600-Milers of Life

Martin Truex Jr. and girlfriend, Sherry Pollex, celebrate his Coca-Cola 600 win, May 29, 2016.
Credit: Charlotte Bray for Skirts and Scuffs  
by Beth Reinke

“ ... and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” ~ Hebrews 12:1b

As he was interviewed about winning the Coca-Cola 600 last weekend, a deep gratitude came through in Martin Truex Jr.’s words and demeanor. Being in Victory Lane seemed extra meaningful to him and to his girlfriend, Sherry Pollex, after her lengthy health challenges and the No. 78 team’s run of near misses this season.

Sometimes when you’ve been through a grueling battle, whether it’s cancer treatment or a 600-mile race, just knowing someone supports you makes all the difference in your attitude and confidence. And no matter what the heartbreak — on and off the track — Truex knew certain people were there, cheering him on, including Pollex.

“Well, I think with her, it's just always nice to have somebody there that tells you ... you're going to be OK, everything is fine,” Truex said in his post-race press conference. “So it's always nice to have somebody with that confidence on your side, and obviously it means a lot to me.”

Who’s on your side through the heartbreaks of life? Who tells you, “You’re going to be OK, everything is fine.” It’s easy to feel alone in your struggles, but look around. Do you have a family that supports you like Truex Jr. and Pollex support each other? If not, what about a few good friends?

If you can list a handful of people who love and support you unconditionally, consider yourself blessed. Those people are gifts placed in your life by God.

On the other hand, if you don’t have a support system, and you feel alone, that stinks. But it doesn’t have to be that way. When you become a child of God by accepting Jesus into your heart, you are never alone again. God loves you. He really, really does. And He’s on your side, saying, "Come to me, everything will be OK."

You might be rolling your eyes, and thinking, “Yeah, right, God loves me. That’s so cliché. I don’t see God anywhere.”

That’s where having faith makes a difference. Even though you can’t see Him or touch Him, He’s always there. Human emotions are fickle though, and sometimes we feel like our connection to God is offline. When God seems distant and you feel like your fuel tank is empty, what can you do?

Well, first of all, if you’ve never asked Jesus into your heart, now would be a good time. Tell Him you’re sorry for anything you’ve done wrong, and that you believe He died so you’d be forgiven. Your salvation brings with it the biggest joy you will ever experience: knowing you’re going to heaven when you leave this earth. And because God’s Spirit comes to live inside you, you’ll never be alone again.

Another good way to feel God’s presence is to do something kind. Focus on others. Even during the toughest times when Pollex was undergoing treatment for ovarian cancer, she and Truex reached outside themselves, toward the young kids involved in their charity event which raises funds for pediatric cancer, Catwalk for a Cause.

Life can be like NASCAR’s 600-miler — physically and emotionally grueling. But there’s no need to run your race alone. God is there, just waiting for you to come to Him for support.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. ~ Matthew 11:28 (NIV)
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“Faith on the Frontstretch” explores the role of faith in motorsports and runs every 1st & 3rd Wednesday of the month during the NASCAR season. Follow Beth on twitter at @bbreinke.

Want more racing devotions? When you donate $25 to Skirts and Scuffs, we’ll send you a complimentary copy of Beth’s book, Race Fans’ Devotions to Go, a month-long, pocket-sized devotional book for NASCAR fans. Or you can purchase the book in paperback & ebook here.

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