I’ve always been amazed at the story of Abraham Lincoln’s life, it’s the original rags to riches sort of story. Imagine a kid born in a log cabin in utter and desperate poverty who grows up the become president of the United States with help from no one. He had no formal education to speak of, yet he became a brilliant lawyer. His family life was what we would call abusive. He experienced enough personal tragedy to put most people into therapy and he managed to survive all of this with enough intelligence and inner strength to almost single-handedly hold a nation together in the most difficult circumstances. The net result of all of this is that a whole race of people were set free from bondage; not bad for a poor kid from nowhere.
Mr. Lincoln was not perfect by any measure. Like all of us, he had his faults and his weaknesses. He made his share of mistakes, he had thousands of critics and in some quarters, he remains controversial. One fact remains that in my view towers above all else: He overcame much and achieved a great deal of good in spite of overwhelming odds.
Mr. Lincoln’s story should inspire us all; maybe it should shame us to a certain extent as well. Few of us have so much to overcome, and yet so many of us are willing to be defeated by circumstances. Few of us have so little help available, yet most of us can’t see that we might make a difference. It may be true that few of us are in a position to directly affect the outcome of history, but all of us can affect the lives of those around us. All of us are called to be a disciple of Christ, and all of us are called to His eternal purpose. It seems to me, that all of us should redouble our efforts to be a follower of Christ and to dedicate ourselves fully to spread His love in our surroundings.
Surely this would be pleasing in God’s sight.