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Unlikely heroes can cause a change everywhere

Posted: September 9, 2011 - 9:40am

William Wilberforce lived in England more than two centuries ago and the consuming passion of his life was to end the slave trade in the British Empire, but most saw him as one of the most unlikely persons of that painful period to do so.

Wilberforce was in poor health, suffering from such physical distress and deformity that a journalist of that time wrote of his twisted body. Nevertheless, he became convinced that God had given him the task of freeing Britain’s slaves, so he began working toward that seemingly impossible goal.

Slave trading was a profitable business and the majority of Britain’s leaders had little desire for this shameful practice to end. Had it not been for his faith in God, Wilberforce would have given up in the face of such formidable opposition, but being confident of his call gave him the needed courage to press on in spite of what appeared to be insurmountable obstacles to success.

Though Wilberforce didn’t live to see his long battle completely won, on the day of his funeral, Parliament passed a law freeing all the slaves in the British Empire. This unlikely hero triumphed in spite of his powerful foes.

There is some task in your world for which you are better equipped than anyone. And here you are unwilling to get involved. Instead, you’re content to complain about pressing problems, hoping someone will do something about them. As a result of your non-involvement, nothing is being done.

Stop griping and get to work.

We have enough experts at fault finding. We need some doers.

Bible heroes were men and women of decisive action.

Consider Moses. He didn’t think he was up to leading his people out of slavery.

According to the Bible, he was the meekest man of his time and a poor public speaker. But the next thing his ill-equipped sheep herder knew he was confronting Pharaoh, producing plagues, dividing the Red Sea and ultimately even leading a multitude of former slaves to freedom. And all of this after he was eighty years old. He was some senior citizen.

Remember Joshua of wall falling fame? Born a slave, he found himself appointed to take the place of Moses after this beloved leader’s death.

This loss of Moses had been traumatic, both for Joshua and his people, sending them into mourning for thirty days. How could they replace this man who had done so much for them?

Inadequate as Joshua felt, he must move forward. If he sits and broods over the possibilities of failure, he will never lead his people into the Promised Land.

Unlikely as it seems, you may be the one to make a difference in your church, your community; even the world.

Walls fall before those who trust God to lead them and move ahead.

So expect great things and get moving.

Roger Campbell is an author, a broadcaster and columnist who was a pastor for 22 years.

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