Tuesday, July 8, 2014

"History - His Story"

    You've heard of that fateful day in the 1860s when history brought together a man named Lincoln and a man named Booth.  Yes, you've heard of the monumental event that transpired on that day…

    …Or have you?  Because I refer not to President Abraham Lincoln and his assassin, John Wilkes Booth.  I would instead direct your attention to the President's son, Robert Todd Lincoln, and his rescuer, Edwin Booth, the brother of said murderer John.  Yes, before the assassination of the President, Edwin Booth, the brother of the future assassin, saved the life of Robert Lincoln, the President's son.  

     Here's the story.  Sometime in 1863 or 64, Robert stood at a train station in Jersey City, New Jersey.  Surging crowds pushed him between a loading platform and an outward bound train that would doubtless have taken Lincoln's life.  Strong hands pulled the man upward and away from the danger, however, the hands of Edwin.  Robert confirmed this account in a 1909 letter to the editor of The Century Magazine.  He recognized Booth because, like his infamous brother, Edwin was a well known actor of his day.  I'm sure you share with me the wonder of such a juxtaposition of occurrences, or as my daughter Emmie just responded upon hearing the story, "Wow!  That's weird!"

    It really is, isn't it?  History is like that, full of twists and turns that sometimes cause us to scratch our heads in perplexed amazement.  How could such a thing happen?  Is there any meaning or purpose to it?  The answer to both questions involves the great truth of the ages, namely, that as the saying goes, "History is His Story."  

    "God… worketh all things after the counsel of His own will" (Ephesians 1:3; 11).

   Nothing happens in the universe without Divine involvement.  Things strange and wondrous to our minds occur for the purpose of revealing that the universe is far more a domain of spirit than of space, time, and matter.  The aforementioned twist of fate regarding the Lincolns and the Booths thus transpired in some manner as the result of the God in whom all "live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:28).  In no way do I intend to suggest how the Lord is involved in such matters.  Far greater minds than mine have crashed on the rocks of mystery regarding such things.  I'll thus offer no explanation, but rather the affirmation that our ignorance of how God is involved does not negate the truth of all things - He is involved.  In all things.  I like to express it this way: we may not know what God is doing, but we can be sure that He is doing.

     Historical enigmas and mysteries serve to illuminate the great fact of God's presence and working.  Creation teems with this energetic involvement, particularly the world in which we live - "the whole earth is full of His glory" (Isaiah 6:3).  There's far more of spirit than of matter in our existence, far more of the Creator than the creation, and far more purpose than chance.  Again, we needn't waste time and mental energy attempting to figure out the whys and the wherefores of such glory.  We should, however, affirm God's vibrant presence and working in a universe created and sustained by His word (Colossians 1:17).  Such faith may provide to our hearts and minds a few answers here and there.  More importantly, the light of reality will illuminate the heart of our lovingly involved God regardless of whether we understand His hand.

"Glory ye in His holy name, let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord.  Seek the Lord and His strength, seek His face continually. Remember His marvelous works that He hath done, His wonders."
(I Chronicles 16:10-12)

Weekly Memory Verse
    When I consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which Thou hast ordained; What is man, that Thou art mindful of him, and the son of man, that Thou visitest him?
(Psalm 8:3-4)


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