Whether on dirt or asphalt, a driver always looks for grip when their racecar gets on track. Cars need to grip the surface to power off the turns, pass other cars, and avoid unexpected track incidents. When the car doesn’t have grip, it feels out of control. What about our lives? Do we feel like we have a handle on this, or are we still trying to get a hold of everything around us? Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
On an asphalt modified, the right rear is usually the critical tire. It’ll wear out the fastest, but it gives the car the bite off the corner to power down the straights. The grip on that tire is vital. When well-managed, a driver can overpower the field at the end of the race. How are we addressing the struggles in our lives? Do we have a grip on things, or are we spinning out of control? When we are struggling, it is essential to know that we aren’t alone. Let’s look at some of those in the Bible that faced difficult times and how they got a grip on their situations.
First, let’s look at David. David was called “a man after God’s own heart.” While not without some significant flaws, David knew where to go in his many times of trouble.
“Listen to my prayer, O God, do not ignore my plea; hear me and answer me. My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught.”
Psalms 55:1-2 NIV
David was wrestling with people chasing after him, trying to kill him, and add on top of that, trying to honor God while knowing all the while he would become king of Israel. Here is one of the most extraordinary men in the Bible struggling. Imagine going to a track, and the best team there suddenly is running at the back of the pack and can’t find speed. We all have struggles. We all have times when we feel like life is out of control, and we have no grip. It’s not something to be ashamed of, and it’s an opportunity to turn to God.
If we keep reading Psalm 55, we see how David’s tone changes in a few short lines. He goes from “Hey God, don’t ignore me!” to “You got this God.”
“As for me, I call to God, and the Lord saves me. Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice. He rescues me unharmed from the battle waged against me, even though many oppose me. God, who is enthroned from of old, who does not change— he will hear them and humble them, because they have no fear of God.
Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.” Psalms 55:16-19, 22 NIV
I love how he says in verse 22, “Cast your cares on the Lord, and he will sustain you.” God loves us so much he wants to help us through our struggles, and he’s given us all we need to do that.
We’re not always going to struggle. Sometimes we may go out on track, and things just click, and the grip is there. Our lives again will be the same. Does that mean God loves you less when things are tough? Is he ignoring you? Did he forget about you? No. God is unchanging. He loves you and wants a relationship with you. David recognized that God was with him always, in both the good times and the bad.
If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.”
Psalms 139:8-10 NIV
The Apostle Paul is another person to look at when we think of having a handle on things. He also was someone who didn’t have a lot of freedom to control his own life, spending a good portion of his last few years in prison. Yet, he managed to see that despite all his circumstances, that God was in control. When our lives feel out of control, we need to remember who controls everything. Do we trust that during the chaos that God is still in control? Are we trying to grab onto anything we can, or are we trusting in God’s plan? We need to look ahead to the plan that God is setting before us. Are we trying to run our lives in our way, or are we trying to honor Him? Ultimately our focus should be on becoming more and more like Jesus. Paul writes about this in his letter to the Philippians.
“I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:10-14 NIV
Maybe you’ve felt out of control lately. God hasn’t forgotten you. He’s already won the battle. Take the time to seek after Him in the same way David did. Take time to trust His plan the way Paul did. Hold on to God with a firm grip and press on to the prize that He has for you. Until next time, remember God loves you and Jesus is Lord over Auto Racing! Remember that your prayerful support and donations help us continue this ministry. Thank You.