Most historians ranking the top presidents would have George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt at the top of their lists. What great men they were—making difficult decisions, acting courageously during very difficult times, following their convictions without knowing the outcome.
Let’s focus on Abraham Lincoln. Did you know that in 1832, he was defeated for the State Legislature? In 1833, he failed in business. In 1835, his sweetheart died. In 1836, he had a nervous breakdown. In 1838, he was defeated for the Illinois House Speaker. In 1843, he was defeated for nomination to Congress. In 1854, he was defeated for the U.S. Senate. In 1856, he was defeated for nomination for Vice President. In 1858, he was defeated again for the U.S. Senate.
Whew—that took a while to type. Can you imagine Abraham Lincoln networking with others for support for his next job with that track record? But what did he know that the others did not? What was in this man that told him to move on, to pick himself up, to try again?
I think the Lord was talking to him! He does that, you know—the Lord will whisper to us in our quiet moments. We just need to be silent enough to listen to Him. Sometimes, it will be when we are in His Word, sometimes when we are sitting on the back porch looking at the clouds roll, sometimes when we are sleeping. He will give us the direction we need if we listen and are patient.
Don’t you know that this good man, though you trip him up seven times, will each time rise again?
“Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain; it was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind, there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake, there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire, there was a sound of a gentle whisper.
1 Kings 19:11–12
Today, let us be in prayer and ask the Lord to allow us time to be still, to allow our hearts to be at peace, and to allow our minds to be quiet so that we can hear His gentle whisper of direction and encouragement. We pray further for the perseverance to continue on when others would tell us to quit because we know right around the corner, or the next phone call, or the next interview, that we will find the victory that has been promised us. We pray that the Lord gives us the strength to take the next step—just like Abraham Lincoln!
Have a great day.