(Post by: Madie Hobbs)

For my birthday earlier this year, I was given a book all about how literature, acting, and writing impacted the life of Winston Churchill, and it has swiftly become one of my favorite books. It tells stories of Churchill’s childhood, and how playing with his own puppet theatre helped him in memorizing entire Shakesperean plays, and how the modern books he read when he was older made him more personable to the average British citizen.  

Many of us know Churchill (or I at least hope you do) as the man who saved the United Kingdom in the height of WWII, and who never deviated from the clear path of fighting to the death, and victory at whatever costs over the tyrant, Adolf Hitler. What many of us do not know, however, is how much the fine arts and a classical education impacted the way Churchill approached politics and problem solving. 

Something Winston was very passionate about was melodramatic plays, and he frequently attended London theatres with his friends to sometimes see the same productions repeatedly. Now, melodrama is always focused on suffering heroes facing insurmountable odds but ultimately beating the terrible villains they face. The plots typically vary from play to play, but the ending always stays the same.  

Here is one specific quote from the book I have found particularly encouraging, and one I want to share with all of you.  

It says, “The shootings, strangling, hangings, poisonings, drowning, stabbings, suicides, explosions, conflagrations, avalanches, earthquakes, eruptions, shipwrecks, trainwrecks, apparitions, tortured heroines, persecuted heroes, and fearsome villains are only a lengthy prelude to inevitable happiness and the apotheosis of virtue. Audiences could enjoy crime and villainy and horror in the full knowledge that the bright sword of justice would always fall in the right place, and that bags of gold would always be awarded to the right people. Evil can only destroy itself, no matter how hard it tries.”  

From the moment I read this quote a few months ago, it filled me with an overwhelming sense of relief.  

Throughout our lives, we all tell ourselves everything is going to work out for good. Or whatever will be will be. Or in the end Jesus always wins. However, I often find myself forgetting that while, yes, Jesus does win ultimately, this doesn’t mean we will be spared from facing the ugly things sin has brought into our world.  

Because we believe Jesus will work everything out for our good, we often forget that to get better at something, you must first challenge yourself to change from what you have been in the past.  

Now, do not misunderstand me, or think I’m being overly morbid. I wholeheartedly believe the Lord has a plan, and ultimately, He will win the spiritual battles raging in all our lives. However, before He wins those battles, some fighting needs to take place first.  

If we look once again at the life of Winston Churchill, or even just the time he spent in office as Prime Minister during the war, we see that he had to go through some very difficult things before he was actually able to defeat Hitler.  

His entire political party was working against him and pressuring him to sue for peace with the Nazis. The British military was much smaller than the German army. He didn’t even have enough boats to transport all his troops stuck on Dunkirk to somewhere safe. He had to work through some very real issues before he could scarcely even allow himself to begin hoping the British could gain victory and retain their freedom.  

It was the furthest thing from smooth sailing you could possibly imagine.  

One of the reasons melodramatic plays became so important later in Churchill’s life, is because by watching, memorizing, even acting out some of these plays, he learned to look at trials and tribulations in a bit of a different light.  

Instead of looking at the failure the tortured heroines and persecuted heroes had to suffer through as setbacks, he was taught to look at them as inevitable events which would ultimately bring about that radical, joyful victory of those same weary heroes. He learned to draw one line between Good and Evil, and not allow room for any sort of grey area. Greatest of all these, however, he learned the light always wins, even if it takes a little longer than we want it to.  

“For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1 John 5:4-5 ESV)  

I know this may be a simple reminder for you this week, but never forget, you must experience some difficulties to fully appreciate the peace found in the Lord. He’s always got our six, no matter how loud the battle rages. Trust him with your present trials today and allow Him to grow you through the hard times you may be facing.

Remember, the light always wins. It must. Because after all, no matter how hard it tries, evil can only destroy itself. 

“When things go wrong as they sometimes will,  

When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,  

When the funds are low and the debts are high, 

And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,  

When care is pressing you down a bit,  

Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.  

Life is strange with its twists and turns 

As every one of us sometimes learns 

And many a failure comes about  

When he might have won had he stuck it out;  

Don’t give up though the pace seems slow –  

You may succeed with another blow.  

Success is failure turned inside out –  

The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,  

And you never can tell just how close you are,  

It may be near when it seems so far; 

So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit –  

It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit. 

For all the sad words of tongue or pen 

The saddest are these: “It might have been!””  

~ John Greenleaf Whittier  

           Don’t Quit 

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