Although the women of the United States are confined within the narrow circle of domestic life, and their situation is, in some respects, one of extreme dependence, I have nowhere seen woman occupying a loftier position; and if I were asked... in which I have spoken of so many important things done by Americans, to what the singular prosperity and growing strength of that people ought mainly to be attributed, I should reply, To the superiority of their women.

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Courage of Stonewall

In the times we live in, a lot of people are overcome with fear. We Christians know that we live in a lost and fallen world headed for judgment. Remember that Jesus said, "Fear not, for I have overcome the world." That sounds good, but sometimes we get all panicky anyway. Sometimes a godly example can help one get their attitude adjusted. Stonewall Jackson was one of the greatest military men that North America ever produced, and his integrity was respected by all who served with him. From the book, America's Providential History, I give you the following excerpt via the work of Mark Grimsley:

He displayed extraordinary calm under fire, a calm too deep and masterful to be mere pretense. His apparent obliviousness to danger attracted notice, and after First Manassas someone asked him how he managed it.
Captain, my religious belief teaches me to feel as safe in battle as in bed,' Jackson explained. 'God has fixed the time for my death. I do not concern myself about that, but to be always ready, no matter when it may overtake me.' He added pointedly, 'Captain that is the way all men should live, and then all would be equally brave.'
As field commander, Jackson's religion came into play in various ways. During military operations he prayed frequently, lived simply, and in his reports habitually gave God all credit for the slightest success. 'Without God's blessing,' Jackson declared, 'I look to no success, and for every success my prayer is, that all the glory may be given to Him to whom it is properly due.' Whenever possible he also avoided marching or fighting on the Sabbath.
The perfect peace he exhibited on the battlefield is a testament to the trust we can have in the Lord. There really is nothing in this world that can eternally harm a blood-bought believer of Jesus Christ. This reality is what allowed those early Christians to sing hymns in the arena. Polycarp didn't resist being tied to the burning stake, knowing that he would soon see His Lord. No matter what comes our way, we can live knowing that God is sovereign and will give us the courage we need for every situation.

Remember that today is D-Day and the courage of many bought our freedoms in this temporary life.
Also remember the courage of Jesus to drink from that cup of wrath bought our eternal freedom in our real life.

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