Impossible. Improbable. Inadequate. Insufficient. For some people, these words don’t mean anything. Although life isn’t without problems, for some, things just come easy. Everything seems to fall in place. Yet for the majority of us, we find ourselves questioning if anything in life is simple. Challenge after challenge comes our way, and we’re left wondering if we’ll ever amount to anything. We live the life of an underdog.
I don’t know about you, but I can relate to the underdog. Impossible seems to be the theme of my life. Raped when I was eight-years old, diagnosed with lupus when I was seventeen, fibromyalgia when I was twenty-one, and Crohns when I was twenty-five, I have had to fight tooth and nail to get to where I am today. On more than one occasion I’ve been told I wouldn’t amount to anything. I’ve been told I would be dead by the time I’m twenty-seven, and I’ve been told by an editor that I’m not good enough to be a writer; I’m simply mediocre. Basically, I’m an underdog.
It’s taken me a long time to accept this. For a while, I hated the word. It reminded me of how hard my life has always been and caused me to question if there was even a point in trying to overcome the obstacles life has thrown my way. But over the past couple of years God has shown me how good it is to be an underdog. It’s who I am, and there’s nothing to be ashamed about. God made me who I am and He loves me just as I am. Even better than that, He can and wants to use me. It doesn’t matter to Him that I am an underdog.
This truth became even more real to me over the past several months. My dad and I love watching a television show called The Voice. For those who aren’t familiar with it, it’s a singing competition, but it’s unique in that the judges don’t get to look at the competitors when they hear them sing for the first time. The contestants are judged based solely on their voices. This past season, I immediately began cheering for an underdog, a man named Jordan Smith. He had the most beautiful voice I’ve ever heard, but he doesn’t look the way Hollywood says an entertainer should, but even more than that, he unapologetically is a Christian. Jordan even admitted that most of his life people didn’t give him the time of day because he didn’t look or act a certain way, but he made no apologies for it. As he said, “I am who God made me to be, and I’m happy with that.”
As I watched and cheered for Jordan each week, I was blown away not only by his talent, but by his character. He was without a doubt the best singer on the show, yet he was the most humble. And God blessed him for it! I watched him sing songs like “Great is thy Faithfulness” and “Mary Did You Know” on national television, and in this day and time when it’s not popular to be a Christian, I saw God bless a man for his faithfulness. Jordan won this season, and I have no doubt it was because of his faith in Christ and his attitude that God chose to bless him. It didn’t matter that he was an underdog. God didn’t bless him in spite of who he was, but because of it!
We spend so much time trying to get away from our problems and who we are that we miss what God wants to do in our lives and through our lives. He can use each of us. He wants to use each of us. The question is will we let Him?
Stop and think about that. It doesn’t matter what disease you have. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have enough money. It doesn’t matter if the world says you can’t do something. It doesn’t matter that you’re an underdog. God says His power is stronger than any problem you are facing. He makes you qualified to do the things He’s placed in your heart to do. If He’s called you to do something, that’s all that matters. Because of what Christ did on the cross, you are qualified!
So what is God calling you to do?
“We pray that you’ll live well for the Master, making Him proud of you as you work hard in His orchard. As you learn more and more how God works, you will learn how to do your work. We pray that you’ll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul—not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory-strength God gives. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that He has for us.” ~ Colossians 1:10-12 (MSG)