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Break the Black Horse
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Photo: MorgueFile
Has life dealt you a bum deck of cards? Has prejudice due to race, gender or culture repeatedly reared its ugly head? Has poverty, illness, a broken home, or handicap plagued your life from day one? If you answer yes to any of these questions, the following quotation by Charles Spurgeon is meant for you! “The Lord’s mercy often rides to the door of our hearts upon the black horse of affliction.”

Ironically, this black horse can be the very steed upon which you gallop over life’s finish line a winner, once it is broken.

Case in Point

President Theodore Roosevelt, affectionately known as T.R. lived an exciting and successful life. An explorer, big game hunter, and wild-west cowboy, T.R. brought energy and enthusiasm to every endeavor. He even served as a “rough riding” Calvary officer in the Spanish American War.

While running for Vice President in 1900, Teddy logged in some 20,000 miles campaigning for President McKinley!  After McKinley’s assassination, Roosevelt became the youngest president in history at the age of 42, bringing energy, vigor and action to the oval office. He was known for his strenuous horse back rides, vigorous hikes, habitual judo sessions and boxing matches.

A classic story about T.R. was told by a French ambassador who visited the White House. (By the way, T.R. was the first to dub the executive mansion by this name). The ambassador and the president had struck out on a walk through the woods when they came to a stream too deep to ford on foot. Roosevelt stripped off his clothes and expected the ambassador to do the same in order to swim to the other side!

Some years after his presidency while T.R. was preparing to deliver a speech in Wisconsin, he was struck by a bullet in the chest by a would-be assassin. Roosevelt insisted upon delivering his one hour speech before going to the hospital, despite the fact he had a bullet in his chest and a broken rib!

Teddy authored 25 books and was the only president to receive the Nobel Peace Prize while in office. He created much of our National Park System. Even the Teddy Bear is named after him! But that’s another story...

Undoubtedly, T.R. was one of the strongest, most resilient and amazing leaders America has ever known. But he was not born that way. In fact, as a child, the future president was horribly thin, tiny and very sickly. His eyesight was extremely poor and he suffered from disabling asthma.

Under his father’s encouragement at the age of 12, T.R. began a physical fitness program he continued throughout his life. Boxing, weights, horse back riding, hiking, hunting and ice skating were some of the means by which this invalid became a power house of strength and remarkable life time achievements.

So, whatever affliction shadows your life today, know that it can defeat you, or you can overcome it by meeting it head on – even making it into one of your greatest strengths. Life’s stumbling blocks can become the stepping stones to success depending on what we do with them.

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By Kathy A Lewis. Copyright © 2014 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.


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