Motor racing is a sport full of adversity. We can have mechanical failure or a crash where someone else runs into you. Having the name of Jesus on our car doesn’t mean that we don’t face adversity. That’s one of the greatest challenges for those around us who don’t know Jesus, they don’t understand why we have problems. They think, “If you have Jesus on your car — if God is your sponsor — surely nothing can go wrong for you!”
This has given us a great opportunity for us to have conversations with others about why those who follow Christ also experience adversity. We were never promised by Jesus that we wouldn’t face adversity; that’s part of everyday life! It’s how we deal with adversity which gives us the opportunity to be a witness to the community.
I’ve certainly faced adversity in my own life. When my wife and I had our second child we found out that she was born with a condition called a hypoplastic left heart, which basically means she doesn’t have the left side of her heart. The doctors told us that we should just let her die. The actual words of the doctor were, “The most humane thing you could do for your family is to let her die and have another one with the hope that it’s healthy.” When you have your child’s life in your hands and a decision to make, it’s a fairly tough thing to go through as a family.
We chose to go against the doctor’s advice and give our child a chance at life. It’s been a tough journey. We’ve had 23 operations, three have been heart surgeries, and six months in the hospital when she was first born. We had to move from Sydney to Melbourne. And then we had to do it all again when she was five. And even today we live with the knowledge that when she turns 16 or 17, her heart will fail. We know that.
When you live with that type of adversity in your life, it gives you perspective of what’s really important, what you want to live for and fight for, and what you want to walk away from.
“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.” — Philippians 4:12-13
— Andrew Fisher, Australian race car driver