One of our ministry team is a pretty enthusiastic auto-racing fan. If you're into that sport, then you know that Jeff Gordon is one of the best in the business. One of the people that helped him get to that position is the man who has been head of his pit crew. You've seen those high-speed cars swing into their service pit and only seconds later roar back into the race. My racing fan friend told me recently about a TV special on Jeff Gordon. On it, they interviewed the head of his pit crew - who, by the way, has a degree in organizational behavior. He revealed just how amazing the work of the pit crew is in a sport where seconds really matter. The pit crew chief said they will change up to 20 tires in one race - just think of what those speeds must do to a tire! And they change a complete set of four tires in 13 seconds - that's faster than I can finish off a bite of my dinner! The driver is the name everyone knows - but the driver knows he's nothing without his pit crew!
Well, I'm Ron Hutchcraft, and I want to have A Word With You today about "Pit Crew Heroes."
There are unsung heroes who support is the key to finishing the race. And not just at a speedway. For every one of us, at one time or another, it's our pit crew that has made the difference in us finishing our race.
In Paul's last letter, written shortly before his death, the great missionary pays tribute to one of his pit crew heroes - a man with the mouthful name of Onesiphorus. At one stressful season of Paul's life, Onesiphorus was the head of his pit crew - and kept Paul rolling. Here's the story of an unsung hero from our word for today from the Word of God - it's found in 2 Timothy 1:16. "May the Lord show mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, because he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains. On the contrary, when he was in Rome, he searched hard for me until he found me. May the Lord grant that he will find mercy from the Lord on that day. You know very well in how many ways he helped me."
Man, we all need an Onesiphorus. We all need to be Onesiphorus - except maybe with a name that's easier to pronounce. You can't control if you have a friend like this - but you can decide to be a friend like this! Although the Bible does say, "He that refreshes others will himself be refreshed" (Proverbs 11:25). And "with the measure you use, it will be measured to you" (Mark 4:24).
You know some people right now who are at a tough time in their race - they're slowing down, they're overheating, they're under heavy pressure, they may not feel they can finish. And the difference is going to be someone who is willing to step up and be their pit crew. Someone like you. Someone who follows the example we just read about.
Frequently asking, "Lord, what could I do that would refresh my hurting friend - a call, a note, a meal, babysitting, giving him some time off?" And notice - "he often refreshed me." Going out of your way to find them, to find out what's wrong - "he searched hard for me." We're talking about you being their "be there" person - they need to know you will always be there.
God has a wonderful promise for you if you will be someone's unsung hero in the pit crew who keeps them in the race. The promise is in Hebrews 6:10 - "God will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people."