Have you ever won against the odds?

Have you ever won against the odds?

Have you ever won against the odds?

In elementary school, shy and nonathletic, I stood on the perimeter of the crowd of kids on the playground watching my classmates race to the schoolyard fence and back. Memories get hazy, but I recall getting called upon to participate. The popular girls’ comments reflected their certainty of my humiliation. I tried to get out of it, but they insisted.

My unexpected win—and not a close one either—did not gain me any popularity or acceptance, however. In fact, no congratulatory exclamations of any came. Instead, a humiliated boy grew angry at their ridicule of him. It seemed I couldn’t win either way. After all, what kind of boy could lose to someone as awkward and inept as Michelle. What a joke! Rather than feeling proud, I slunk off and entered the school through a door that led to the high school and found my way to a bathroom to hide in until recess was over. (My childhood school had K-12 in one building.)

Have you ever experienced a win when everyone thought you’d lose? Or have you gone to perform a duty to be accused of ulterior motives you hadn’t even considered?

That’s what happened to David in the well-known “David and Goliath” story. (See 1 Samuel 17 for the whole story.)

David’s brother mocked him

David’s father, Jesse, sent David off to see how his three oldest brothers were doing in Saul’s army. He took bread and cheese to the troops as he sought to inquire on his brothers’ welfare. While there, he heard Goliath’s challenge. The Israelites cowered in fear. David asked what was going on and learned of King Saul’s rewards for the one who slayed this giant enemy.

In verses 28-30, David’s brother, Eliab burned with anger and asked him why he was there. He disrespected David by mocking his job as a shepherd. “With whom did you leave those few sheep in the desert?” Eliab believed his job as a soldier was superior to David’s job of protecting his father’s sheep.

Then Eliab accused David of being conceited and wicked in his heart, coming down to watch the battle instead of staying home to perform his work.

David won against the odds

Have you ever run into this? Someone who thinks her work is more important than yours, who feels just speaking with you is beneath her dignity? Have you been accused of trying to win the boss’ favor or someone else’s attention when you outperformed a colleague? Ever get a promotion someone else coveted? Well, then you know how David must have felt.

I imagine David shook his head and muttered, “Now what have I done? Can’t I even speak?” He ignored his brother and continued his inquiries until the king heard what David said. The rest is history. We know David killed the giant and became a hero.

But what was wrong with Eliab? Why would his brother treat him so? I suspect jealousy burned along with his anger because Samuel had anointed David future king, not him.

Remember God’s promises

Others may be jealous or think themselves better than you, but their plans to degrade you won’t derail God’s plans for you unless you let them. Be like David. Remember God’s promises and how He has protected you in the past. Ignore the whispers that hurt your heart and press onward.

Do your best! You may win the race, kill the giant, become a hero.

I never did excel in most sports, but I did go on to hold records in track. The girls who didn’t think much of me in grade school still didn’t think much of me in high school; however, my coach and teammates cheered me on. If someone isn’t on your side, it means she isn’t on your team. Go find your team! You Matter! There are others just like you out in the world ready to embrace you and cheer you toward victory.

What memory do you recall of a time when you finished victorious when others believed you’d fail?

Press on, my friend. God has a plan for your life.

Photo by Wayne Lee-Sing on UnsplashCopy

4 Replies to “Have you ever won against the odds?”

  1. I remember playing softball with my class in middle school. I came up to bat and everyone moved in closer, a sign they didn’t expect me to hit the ball far. The guys on my team were telling me how to swing and what to do. Well, it’s not like I hadn’t played ball before with Dad and our brothers (although I know I wasn’t very good)! I ended up hitting the ball over all their heads and got a home run! Shows you never know what people can do until you give them a chance, and it’s better to give them support and encouragement and get to know them rather than making them feel like an outcast.

  2. Shari’s first sentence reminded me that I also played softball with my class . However, it was a one-rooms school, so students from several classes were needed to make up two teams. Although I was among those who were played poorly, I don’t remember being chastised for it. Probably because none of us was really very good. We just enjoyed playing, and had fun.

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