One of the qualities I enjoy most about our Lord is that he has a heart for the underdog. If you look in the Old and New Testament of the Bible, you see story after story told of people with meager, humble, beginnings ending up in positions of great influence for God’s kingdom. One of my favorites is David, the shepherd boy who ends up conquering Goliath with a stone and sling. (Talk about least likely to succeed; he was a mere child at the time! See I Samuel 16-17.) There is also Joseph, a young man who ends up being sold into slavery by his own brothers and taken from his home in Canaan to Egypt. From an imprisoned slave he was raised to 2nd in command under the Pharaoh of Egypt (Genesis 41:41). The list of these stories goes on, including the coming of Jesus himself, born in lowly conditions, laid in a manger and raised by a carpenter before setting the entire world free from sin.
Who doesn’t love a story about a humble, meek individual or team that is up against a giant and wins against the odds? Over the years I’ve found myself taking joy in rooting for the underdog, especially in sports. It is fun for me to cheer on the least likely to succeed challenger of a proud standing champion and watch success achieved through a humble, hard working spirit!
I think one reason why people love the underdog so much is because it symbolizes hope for all of us to become great in the face of humble circumstances. After all, aren’t most of us the underdog in some point or another in life? Very few of us are actually born into a place of privilege and status. Most of us start out by the world’s measure in average circumstances. Yet, all of us have the ability to do great things in the world with God on our side, giving us his strength, grace and mercy. It is something he actually takes great pleasure in, as he tells us over and over in the Bible, “My power is made perfect in your weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
My children’s book, “Ella Mae the Courageous Cheerleader” is about facing bullies with God’s strength. You could say that I was somewhat of an underdog during that time of my life. By the world’s standards, I was average in many respects. I didn’t have the fancy clothes and status symbols that some of the other kids had. I remember taking a lot of teasing about my wardrobe and it’s lack. One thing I did have was God’s love and spirit. Although I couldn’t see it at the time, He was there carrying me through that dark time and had plans to use it for good in the end. I’ve been the underdog a few other times in life, like during the 4 years that I was a full-time working mother of an infant/toddler taking night school classes for an MBA. There were days I was sure I wasn’t going to make it. Every time I asked for grace, the Lord came through for me. He never let me down and provided all that I needed to finish that degree.
Are you in a situation where you are the underdog facing a giant? Maybe in your school or work place you are coming up against a force that seems impossible to overcome. Remember that God loves the underdog, and in your weakness, his power is made perfect. He delights in helping you through. He enjoys fooling the wise of the world by raising up the least likely to succeed for his glory. Let your weakness make his power perfect for you today- He has a heart for you!
Stephanie Cameron is author of the children’s book “Ella Mae the Courageous Cheerleader”, a book about facing bullies with God’s help. “Ella Mae the Courageous Cheerleader” is available online at the following stores: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Family Christian Store and Tate Publishing Bookstore.
Ella Mae’s love for cheerleading is strong, but so are the bullies on the cheer team. Ella Mae, the Courageous Cheerleader is a children’s book written in rhyme, sharing a personal story of dealing with bullies. It teaches children how to respond to meanness with kindness, courage and confidence. Ella Mae will inspire children who are dealing with bullies at school to turn to their faith in God. By responding according to His Word, they too can receive God’s promise of blessing and the confidence that they are doing the right thing.