I follow football and my team is Sunderland FC. I probably shouldn’t admit to it but I can’t help it. To say we are not doing well is a bit of an understatement we may well be relegated this year. However, the team that just escaped relegation almost miraculously last year, Leicester City, is this year challenging for the Premier League Title. It shouldn’t happen, but it just might!
They are and have been all season the absolute underdogs with a team in financial terms that probably cost less than the most expensive player of each of their rivals.
They have lots of players from the lower leagues who the experts deemed before the season started were just not good enough. Their star striker Jamie Vardy was playing for Fleetwood Town just a few years ago. Yet they keep on winning and if they do win it will be almost a miracle.
I think on the whole the British people like to see the underdog win.
It may be something in our psyche that makes us determined and defiant as was seen I am told during the Second World War. It may be our sense of justice and fair play. Whatever it is we cheer the underdog on and rejoice if they actually achieve success.
There are many examples in the Bible of the underdog winning. For example the young shepherd boy David with God’s help beating the giant soldier Goliath with a sling and a few stones.
Or Gideon who with God’s help leads a tiny force of 300 men against the Midianite army and beats them. This Easter season Christians remember that Jesus took on the power and might of the Roman Empire who made him powerless on the cross and took his life.
They thought they had won but three days later the disciples find an empty tomb and then there are numerous accounts of the risen Jesus meeting many people. He had conquered death and brought new life and hope. This transformed the disciples from fearful confused people to fearless confident proclaimers that Jesus was alive.
And from these few people, the underdogs, the church grew against all odds.
We can have ‘the world on our shoulders’ and it can feel like everyone is against you and a way out seems unlikely.
I suspect David and Gideon felt like that but with God’s help they come through. Ask God for help and may you know the presence of God with you in all that you face.