FROM THE PASTOR’S HEART
Abraham Lincoln endured as much criticism as any President in our history. A casual reading of the newspapers of his day will reveal the degree of viciousness to which he was subjected as he sought to guide our nation through the ravages of the Civil War. But Lincoln was a man who used humor to respond to his critics. One day he told the following story to his gathered cabinet: A traveler on the frontier found himself in a wild and unfamiliar region. A terrible thunderstorm added to his troubles. He crept along until his horse gave out and then had to dismount and lead the horse. Occasional flashes of lightning afforded the only clue to the path and each flash increased the traveler’s distress. One bolt literally shook the ground so severely that the traveler was brought to his knees. Being a man of few words, his prayer was short and to the point: “O Lord! If it’s all the same to you, would you please give us a little less noise and a little more light?”
The words of that man’s prayer resonate with me as we navigate through this Covid-19 storm. Each day seems to bring more noise, more complaint, more finger pointing, and more blame casting. Many are the suggestions and protests but little genuine light seems to be forthcoming. Having recently celebrated our nation’s 244th birthday, we would do well to reflect upon the light expressed in the Declaration of Independence.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,
that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights,
that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.
That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men,
deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
Several flashes of light make up the brilliance of that declaration. First there is the recognition of a Creator–for most of the signers that meant a personal God. Second, that all men have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness—a right that is divinely embedded in the human heart. Third, it is the God ordained responsibility of governments to insure that those rights are provided. But finally, it is the people who live under such a government that are as much responsible for insuring those rights as the government itself. We can never blame government for what we ourselves do not provide. Thus, I am reminded that as an American, I have the God-implanted recognition and responsibility to never do anything that prevents my fellow American, no matter what race, what color, what gender, what persuasion, from enjoying the same rights that I have received from the hands of God and made possible by a nation who still says, In God We Trust. Indeed, we continue to wait patiently on the Lord, knowing that He hears our cry. And because he lifts us up and places our feet on His rock, the rock that is Jesus Christ, we the many, “Will see and fear and continue to put our trust in the Lord” (Ps 40:1-3). Pastor Mike