A dark horse is always an unlikely candidate to win. It’s become an adjective for the unexpected. There are dark horse sports teams, dark horse politicians, dark horse contestants. Of course, anything can happen, but the chances of a dark horse winning anything are a long shot. The dark horse is someone against whom the odds are stacked. You’re taking a big chance to bet on the dark horse to win.
And yet, a dark horse might win. It wouldn’t be in the race if it didn’t have a chance. So it’s going to show up. It’s going to prepare. It’s going to train. It’s not going to take anything for granted. It’s going to run. It’s going to give its best, but if it should somehow win, it will know it got help from somewhere. There was a miracle involved. There are certainly other, more qualified horses. How did this happen? We’re not sure, but thank you anyway. We take no credit.
That’s kind of the way it is with a dark horse, and the way it is with us. Jesus has turned us into unexpected winners. He did it; we’re just reaping the benefits. By winning, a dark horse is getting what it knows it doesn’t deserve (so don’t even bring it up in case somebody made a mistake!).
That’s why dark horses do not proudly strut across the finish line; they look around as if wondering where everyone else is. It’s a metaphor that spells surprise. It’s the celebration of the unexpected – the winning circle of astonishment.
Heaven is going to be full of dark horses crossing the finish line and wondering what all the cheering is about. When you really think about it, no one is going to be in heaven who expected to be there. I once did, but now I’m just holding onto faith. I’m not counting anything to my advantage that I once counted. I’m holding onto Jesus. It’s the only thing I have going for me as far as eternity goes. Jesus is everything for a dark horse.
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