MERIDIAN — "But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed." — 2 Corinthians 4:7-9 (NKJV)
The desk in the Oval Office of the White House is known as the Resolute Desk. For about 133 years, most of the Presidents have used this desk for their place of study and work. To know the background on the desk is to know the value to leaders seeking wisdom for pressing issues.
The Resolute Desk was made from the timbers of the HMS Resolute. The HMS Resolute was one of six merchant ships sent in search of a stranded ship in the Arctic.
A cold front caused the open passage to freeze up and the Resolute become encased in ice. Seven months later, the ship was abandoned. Eighteen months later, the abandoned Resolute was found adrift by an American whaler and ultimately returned to England. When the ship was dismantled in 1879, three desks were made from her timbers.
The large partner’s desk was presented to President Rutherford B. Hayes in 1880 as a thankful expression for the return of the ship by the U.S. All but three presidents since its delivery to the White House have used this desk.
Now, I know you wonder, what is the point of this history lesson? The point is that where you have been has much to say about what you offer in times of trouble. It may have seemed useless to be almost two years adrift in Arctic ice, but, ultimately the HMS Resolute became an inspiration! Today, the desk reminds those under pressure that pressure can be endured and life has purpose even when we cannot see beyond the immediate issue.
In 2 Corinthians 4:7-9, our bodies are described as earthen vessels. Like the HMS Resolute, we feel the pressures, but, with God’s power we will not be crushed. We may feel perplexed, but, with God’s help we are not in despair. We may feel persecuted, but, we are never alone. We may feel beat down, but, never destroyed.
The Resolute Desk is a testament to overcoming the pressures of life. This reminder of past storms is the basis for present victories. Why not allow God to use the storms of your past as an encouragement for today? They need not be scars. They can be inspirations! The same God that led through the storms is ready to guide today. Give Him your challenge and see how you come through on the other side.
Dr. John A. Temple is pastor of Poplar Springs Drive Baptist Church, located at 4032 Poplar Springs Drive in Meridian. Visit the church website online at www. psdbc.org.