«Deliver those who are drawn toward death And hold back those stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, «Surely we did not know this,» does not He who weighs the hearts consider it? He who keeps your soul, does He not know it? And will He not render to each man according to his deeds?» (Proverbs 24:11, 12).
Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), one of the most beloved and remembered presidents of the United States, appears sad in most of his portraits. Actually, he had a life full of adversity. When he was just a child, he had to start working to help his family. Soon after, he lost his mother. He never got along with his father, who married for a second time a woman who Lincoln professed great affection for. As a young man, his first girlfriend died before they could get married. He failed in many businesses he undertook. When he entered politics, he lost most of the elections in which he ran for various positions, including the state legislature, president of the state chamber, governor, and senator. In 1860, when the presidential elections approached, he did not think he had the potential to reach the Republican Party’s nomination for the first magistrate of his country: he had never held a major political office, had no experience in government, and he lacked the necessary contacts in politics and the press. But when he won the candidacy, the press mocked him, presenting him like a lumberjack who had barely gone to school. As if that were not enough, his physical appearance was not very charismatic: a sad looking face, restrained in his speech, a lanky walk, and disproportionately tall (6’4″). However, he won the election and was elected President of the United States of America.
As the leader of his country, Lincoln faced the war of secession (1861-1865) between the states of the North and the South of the United States, which demanded him to make firm decisions during the whole conflict. Moreover, during those years, one of his sons died, which seemed to derange his wife, Mary Todd. Abraham Lincoln was assassinated on April 14, 1865 while attending a play at the theater.
The great challenges of life serve to forge solid characters. Those who bear the hard blows of life are prepared to play important roles in this world. Their lives teach us that they only fail when they stop trying, that we cannot bury our dreams, that we must learn to live with the pain and continue to fight for our ideals.
Today ask the Lord to help you to not surrender to adversity, but to persevere in your dreams.