Winter 2022 magazine

Daily Devotional: Friday, October 21 - Here's To The Underdogs

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” — 1 Peter 5:6

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It will likely go down as one of the most astonishing victories of all time. Improbable. Unlikely. Unexpected. Fans of the horse racing world had picked their favorites, and the crowd of celebrities, owners and trainers had gathered to watch the 2022 Kentucky Derby. First, the hush before the bell. Jockeys poised. Horses ready. Then, they were off. But little did anybody know what was about to unfold.

Literally the day before, a horse had been scratched from the race and another one had to be entered in its place to round out the field. The horse chosen was named Rich Strike. At 80-1 odds, he was the prime example of an underdog. The team had never been to the Derby before and nothing about the horse or his trainer and owner was well known. As the race began and Rich Strike started from the far gate in last place, the only ones at the track who believed in miracles were the team members themselves and what few fans took a chance on a horse nobody knew.

More than halfway through the race, Rich Strike was still in the middle of the pack, surrounded by other horses, with two of the favorites in the lead. Rounding the corner, it looked like one of those two would grab the win. But suddenly, out of nowhere and with only a few strides left, Rich Strike wove his way through the pack and took off with an open lane on the rail side — flying past the leaders and stealing the victory by a nose. The commentators were stunned, the crowd went wild and the team was in shock!

Afterward, the owner said to the media that he kept leaning over to the trainer to ask if this was real. Jockey Sonny Leon, when asked how he managed to ride Rich Strike to victory, responded, “God only knows.” Even the groomer had to admit that this was a moment only God could get the glory for.

We all have times in our lives when we feel like Rich Strike — surrounded by things that are hindering our progress, given little chance to succeed by those around us. We’ve all felt like our biggest wins, however hopeful, were slipping through our hands.

But God …

The One for whom nothing is impossible does seemingly impossible things to remind us that the story is never over with Him. Just when things appear to be going so wrong and we feel defeated and discouraged, that’s right when He’s about to pull off a surprise. We have to keep moving forward. We have to keep living in hope. Choosing faith. Because God never gives up on the journey. And thanks to Him, we, like Rich Strike, may be only one move away from our greatest comeback.

So here’s to the long shots and underdogs out there, giving it their all. I see you, and He does too. The story will turn in His time and, when it does, may He receive all the glory for it in your life.

— Katherine Singer

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