This is a story of a Pinewood Derby.  The boys are given a block of wood, four tires and instructions. Eight year old Gilbert was one of the boys.  Gilbert’s dad was not interested in helping him.  His mother did what she could and read to him the instructions. Gilbert built his racing car the best he could.  It did not look so good but he would race it.  Every one was surprised that Gilbert’s little car continued to win the elimination heats.  Finally, it was between Gilbert and the sleekest, fastest looking car.  As the last  race was about to begin.  Gilbert asked if they could stop the race for a minute, because he wanted to pray. The race stopped.

Gilbert went to his knees clutching his funny looking block of wood between his hands.  He prayed earnestly for a few moments.  Then he stood, with a smile on his face, he announced, “Okay, I am ready.”  All watched the two cars as they sped down the ramp.  Gilbert’s block of wood wobble down the ramp with surprisingly great speed and rushed over the finish line a fraction of a second before the other car.  Gilbert won. Gilbert leaped in the air with a loud “Thank You.”  The Scout Master came up to Gilbert and asked the obvious question, “So you prayed to win, huh, Gilbert?”  To which Gilbert answered, “Oh, no sir, that would not be fair to ask God to help you beat someone else.  I just asked  Him to make it so I wouldn’t cry when I lost.”

Gilbert didn’t ask  God to win the race.  He didn’t ask God to fix the outcome.  Gilbert asked God to give him strength in the outcome.  No, he went to his Heavenly Father for strength.  Perhaps we spend too much of our prayer time asking God to rig the race, to make us number one, or too much time asking God to remove us from the struggle, when we should be seeking God’s strength to get through the struggle.

Even the Psalmist in the 23rd Psalm said, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.”  Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart. I have overcome the world.”  With Jesus in our lives, we can not lose. We are winners in Him.



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