The making of a leader does not happen overnight, nor does it always happen due to successful pursuits.  Failure can be the backdoor to success.  President Lincoln is a great example.  He failed repeatedly before he was elected to the presidency of the United States.

Failed in business…1831
Defeated election for legislature…1832
Failed again in business…1834
Sweetheart died…1835
Nervous breakdown…1836
Defeated in second political race…1838
Defeated for Congress…1843
Defeated for Congress…1846
Defeated for Congress…1848
Defeated for US Senate…1855
Defeated for Vice President…1856
Defeated for US Senate…1858
Elected President…1860

Lincoln issued his original Thanksgiving Proclamation at a pivotal point in his and the nation’s life. More than 60,000 Americans had given their lives at Gettysburg. In November of that year, Lincoln delivered his famous “Gettysburg Address.”

It was while Lincoln was walking among the thousands of graves at Gettysburg that he committed his life to Christ. He told a friend, “When I left Springfield [to assume the Presidency], I asked the people to pray for me. I was not a Christian. When I buried my son, the severest trial of my life, I was not a Christian. But when I went to Gettysburg and saw the graves of thousands of our soldiers, I then and there consecrated myself to Christ.”

Problems will always be a part of life. It is how we respond to problems that define our lives – individually and corporately. It is God’s mission to see us grow as Christians. He uses the storms of life to develop deep roots that withstand the winds of the world.

We hear and see so much more on our knees. It is easy to persuade ourselves that life is better when we have more money. Life will be good when we have the perfect spouse, children, house or car. But just like the pilgrims at Plymouth Rock or a solitary president walking the cemeteries of war – a dependent heart is found in the place of adversity, sacrifice and hardship.

© 2013 Cindi Vana, Texas National Day of Prayer Coordinator.

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