The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
(another repeat, this from 2011, which addresses a fascinating aspect of God's involvement in history, or rather, His Story. This one relates to the first landing and spacewalk on the moon in 1969. Thanks to our dear friend Jamey for inspiration on this one)
3 - "All Things"
Amid the horrors, sorrows, and sufferings of war, God's light has nevertheless shined throughout history, confirming that even in the darkness of bloody conflict, history is His Story.
The following account from a Union soldier wounded at the battle of Gettysburg during the American Civil War speaks to this truth of our Lord's working.
"I was at the battle of Gettysburg myself, and an incident occurred there which largely changed my views of the Southern people. I had been a most bitter anti-Southman, and fought and cursed the Confederates desperately. I could see nothing good in any of them. The last day of the fight I was badly wounded. A ball had shattered my left leg. I lay on the ground not far from Cemetery Ridge, and as General Lee ordered his retreat, he and his officers rode near me. As they came along, I recognized him and, though faint from exposure and loss of blood, I raised up my hands, looked Lee in the face, and shouted as loud as I could, 'Hurrah for the Union!'
The General heard me, looked, stopped his horse, dismounted and came toward me. I confess that I at first thought he meant to kill me. But as he came up he looked down at me with such a sad expression upon his face that all fear left me, and I wondered what he was about. He extended his hand to me, and grasping mine firmly and looking right into my eyes said, "My son, I hope you will soon be well."
If I live a thousand years I shall never forget the expression on General Lee's face. There he was, defeated, retiring from a field that had cost him and his cause almost their last hope, and yet he stopped to say words like those to a wounded soldier of the opposition who had taunted him as he passed by! As soon as the General had left me, I cried myself to sleep there upon the bloody ground" (From "A Civil War Treasury," edited by B.A. Boykin).
Those familiar with Gen. Robert E. Lee will not be surprised by the anecdote. A devout Christian, Gen. Lee was known for personal kindness despite being a man of war. Similar acts have occurred throughout history on battlefields whereupon enemy combatants sometimes find grace in their hearts for foes, or themselves receive grace. This can only be God, the God whose beloved Son once fought to the death on a bloody battlefield whereupon He died not for His friends, but rather His enemies.
"When we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son" (Romans 5:10).
The God who "worketh all things after the counsel of His own will" can be found any and everywhere (Ephesians 1:11). In a world that lieth in wickedness," the truth remains that "the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord" (I John 5:19; Psalm 33:5). Indeed, if the greatest act of moral evil in history - the suffering and death of the Lord Jesus Christ at the hands of enemies - was also the greatest expression of God's working to redeem those enemies, we can be sure He works in all things to fulfill His purposes. This does not preclude the fact of evil. But it does promise the faithfulness of God's working in all things. If we will open the eyes of our heart to see by faith the pervasive and perpetual involvement of our blessed Lord, no venue will keep us from realizing that history is His Story.
"For of Him, and through Him, and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever, Amen."
Weekly Memory Verse
"O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good, because His mercy endureth forever."