Teedie grew up in a very wealthy family. He lived in an enormous house with an extensive garden. He had opportunity to travel the world, was educated by the finest tutors and governesses. He even had his own petting zoo, a collection of animals that he raised. One might say Teedie’s childhood was the stuff of fairy tales except for his health problems. Teedie was a frail boy plagued with asthma, poor eyesight, and stomach problems. He was not expected to live long.[i]
As a college student, Teedie lost his father. In his devastation, he decided to alter his life course and delve into the career he thought his father would approve of – politics. Soon thereafter, he met and married Alice Lee. The two were exceedingly happy until the Valentine’s Day of 1884. On this day, Alice died while giving birth to their daughter. Meanwhile, a few doors down in the same house, Teedie’s mother also passed away of typhoid fever. Teedie declared that his life was over on that day.[ii]
At times in Teedie’s life, I’m sure his problems seemed insurmountable and never-ending. So, what drove this man to become one of our nation’s greatest figures? I would venture to say that it was his great faith coupled with a huge amount of determination. For one of Teedie’s famous quotes is this:
A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education.
You see Teedie, or as most of us know him – Teddy, knew the power of his God. Psalm 74 tells us this:
God my King is from ancient time,
performing saving acts on the earth.
You divided the sea with Your strength;
You smashed the heads
of the sea monsters
in the waters;
You crushed the heads of Leviathan;
You fed him to the creatures
of the desert.
You opened up springs and streams;
You dried up ever-flowing rivers.
The day is yours and also the night;
You established the moon and the sun.
You set all the boundaries of the earth;
You made summer and winter.
Teddy knew that a God with that kind of power was worthy of putting his trust in. He knew this God was bigger than any problems he might face. He believed that his Father in heaven would see him through the trials of his life so he never gave up. Did he become angry at God because of all he had to face? Maybe, but in the end, this is what Teddy believed:
Never has a man who lived a life of ease
left a name worth remembering.
So my friends, know today that whatever obstacles you are facing, none of them have more power than our God.
For if God can crush the head of Leviathan, He can certainly conquer your problems as well.
Know that He is faithful. He loves you more than you could possibly imagine, and He wants to fight for you. All you need to do is trust in Him. He will see you through whatever situation you are facing in His timing and in His way and you will be a better and stronger person because of it.
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Until next time,
Hakim, Joy. 2005. A History of the U.S.: An Age of Extremes. New York: Oxford University Press.
[i] (Hakim 2005) p.147
[ii] Ibid. p.149