If you have known me for a long period of time, you may know that my favorite American historical figure is Abraham Lincoln. When I choose books to read, if the subject matter is not ministry oriented, the book usually has something to do with his life. It is amazing to see how many biographies have been made about this man of integrity.
If you don’t know much about the details of Lincoln’s life, it is easy to jump on the Abe bandwagon. We all learned in school that he was called “Honest Abe”, and we were taught to admire him….but there are not many kids who could give much more detail than that. If one were to look at the events that surrounded his life without learning about the man himself…a person doing research may recoil and consider him to be largely, a failure.
Lincoln was a humble man who suffered from depression…not because of a chemical imbalance, and nothing that could be medicated, but one induced by life. He suffered in this way because he had seen and experienced such pain in his life that he was often a man of few words, and deep reflection.
He would have been a failure to many people in his day for many reasons. He led a nation that erupted with disunity and infighting. His decisions led to mass chaos, and death. Most of his family seemed to die from illness or develop mental illnesses. He couldn’t even protect his family (in his mind).
Why do I love learning about this man so much? It is because he allowed himself to experience this suffering for the good of those around him. He was known as a man who trusted God unwaveringly, and strived to be an example in the way he conducted his personal life. For example, as an attorney, he had the lowest prices around and there were even times when he would track a former client down to reimburse them some of their fees after feeling convicted for overcharging.
We can learn from people like this. Trust God despite adversity. Desire good.