"Cinderella man"

As the United States slipped into the Great Depression of the 1930s, a broken right hand forced James Braddock out of professional boxing. Money was hard to come by, so Braddock worked menial jobs to make ends meet.

Thanks to a boxer withdrawing from a bout at the last moment, Braddock eventually got another shot to box the No. 2 contender in the world. No one thought he had a chance, but he shocked the boxing world with a third-round-knockout win.

Braddock's stunning victory resurrected his career. Nicknamed "Cinderella Man," Braddock went on to pull off one of the greatest upsets in boxing history by defeating Max Baer for the heavyweight title of the world.

The Old Testament tells the story of another "Cinderella Man." After informing Saul that God had rejected him as Israel's king, He sent to Bethlehem to anoint one of Jesse's sons as the next ruler (1 Samuel 16:1). When Samuel first spotted Jesse's oldest son, he thought for sure he was the one (1 Samuel 16:6). But God told Samuel, "Don't judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn't see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart" (1 Samuel 16:7).

Eventually God directed Samuel to Jesse's youngest son, David, who had been relegated to the job of tending sheep. Apparently he didn't seem kingly, but God saw something developing within the heart of this young shepherd that no one else had seen.

Do you sometimes feel as if you're in a Cinderella role? Take heart and be open to learn. God may be giving you smaller assignments as training grounds to prepare you for a much larger role. , Jeff Olson, Our Daily Journey

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