Eight-year-old Gilbert was the odd-man-out at the Cub Scout “Pinewood Derby” event.
All of the other scouts had sleekly crafted cars with cool paint jobs – obviously the result of father-son partnerships. But Gilbert’s “Blue Lightning” was crudely made, lopsided and a little wobbly. Worse yet, every scout had a proud dad standing by his side, but Gilbert was accompanied by “Mom.”
In a Pinewood Derby, wooden cars race down a ramp in an elimination-style competition. You keep racing as long as you win. And quite unexpectedly “Blue Lightning” kept winning, over and over again, until it was pitted in a final contest against the sleekest, fastest-looking car there.
At that moment Gilbert asked if he could pray. His brow wrinkled in concentration, he prayed for a very long minute and a half. Finally he smiled and said, “I’m ready.”
To everyone’s surprise, “Blue Lightning” won by a nose and the crowd roared with approval. The scout master approached with a microphone and asked, “Did you pray to win, son?” Little Gilbert shook his head. “No sir. That wouldn’t be fair. I asked God to not let me cry if I lost.” That simple prayer spoke volumes to everyone present. Gilbert didn’t ask God to win, make things fair, or remove his pain. He simply prayed to endure it.
How well Gilbert understood the promise of Philippians 4:13 – “I can do everything
through Christ who gives me strength,” or the promise of James 4, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to consume it on your passions . . . But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.'”
-Mark Hamby of Lamplighter Publishing