Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Pain, Perspective, and Pulitzers

If you have ever thought we live in troubled times, 
this book may provide some much needed perspective.

1776 is an exemplary book, written by a two time Pulitzer Prize winner.

     On September 30th, 1776, George Washington, General of the Continental Army faced a mountain range of distressing situations, while carrying the weight of the would be Nation upon his shoulders.  He confided in a letter to his brother, Lund:  

     "Such is my situation that if I were to wish the bitterest curse to an enemy this side of the grave, I should put him in my stead with my feelings."  The General wrote that he was "wearied to death" and "In confidence I tell you that I never was in such an unhappy, divided state since I was born." 
- McCullough, p. 227

     Washington's words were strikingly similar to the Apostle Paul's in 2 Cor. 1:8-9:
For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia.  For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself.  Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death.  

Yet the Apostle brings a deep theology of hope to the issue of despairing afflictions:
But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.

Great people have trodden 
upon paths of deep darkness.
You are not alone in facing dreadful 
heartache and the most bitter of circumstances.
Rather, you have joined the ranks of the
myriads who have traveled such broken roads.
The pages of history are full
of the accounts of these travelers.
One day such agonies shall be no more.
Until then:
When your strength is gone, 
there is more to be found
outside  of  yourself;
in Him who is not 
ever wearied. 

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