It is hope which makes us move.”
–Ernest Haycox (Long Storm)
“To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven.”
–Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NKJV)
There is a time in the history of every country, every nation, every empire when there begins a demise. Sometimes is takes centuries as in the case of the Roman Empire, or often it comes rapidly because of warfare. I look at the state of our nation today and am reminded of the words attributed to Alexis de Tocqueville:
“Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the greatness and genius of America. America is great because America is good. If America ever ceases to be good America will cease to be great.”
Our nation is currently facing several crisis, one of which is to debunk and slander the men and women who have made this country great. People who were flawed, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23, NKJV) for certain, but in the midst of their flaws and failures they had something deeper to give. It may be the leadership of a Washington in the early days of the development of our nation. It may be in the calm leadership of an Eisenhower during the course of defeating a vicious menace to the world, or an audacious Patton in that same war.
It may be seen in the courage and the determination of a man who is much maligned today–Christopher Columbus. He is mocked and scorned today because he supposedly began slavery. What a lie! Slavery has been around since almost the beginning of time. Then there is the cry of “disease” brought over by the Spaniards. Interesting, I find it that those who scorn Columbus for bringing disease from the Old World are the same ones who decry the President when he said that the corona came from China. Hmmmm…
Whatever one says about Columbus, they can not take away his courage. Few men would dare to do what he did in his day–the exploration to the West. One cannot doubt that he wanted to gain wealth, privilege, and power with his explorations, but he was also very concerned about spreading the gospel of Christ. Look at his prayer as he landed on what he named San Salvador (“Holy Savior”):
“O Lord, Almighty and everlasting God, by Thy holy Word Thou hast created the heaven, and the earth, and the sea; blessed and glorified be Thy Name, and praised be Thy Majesty, which hath designed to use us, Thy humble servants, that Thy holy Name may be proclaimed in this second part of the earth.”
The Great Commission of Jesus was also part of the purpose of Columbus’ explorations. It was just at the right time in history that America was discovered and began to be developed. We often forget that God is in charge of history. What happens falls into the category of His divine sovereignty. His purposes will be fulfilled.
Of course, those that mock Columbus and others will also mock the idea of God. I wonder, these scorners, what their lives would be like if the Almighty had not “sent” Columbus to explore? What would life be like, say for instance if the Chinese had settled America? Buddhism perhaps?
In the midst of the hatred, bitterness, and scorn, I will choose to salute a great man. One with undaunted courage; one who dare to explore and to bring the Gospel to a new land
It is hope which makes us move.”