In his autobiography, entitled "My Larger Education", Booker T. Washington discusses how he arrived at his views on race relations, focusing on the importance of cooperation and teamwork and describing the experiences that led to the founding of Tuskegee Institute in Alabama.
He also shares with us a, "Problem" he thought was, "A great misfortune" and what he soon discovered that is a great reminder for all Christians regardless of race and culture.
"It seemed to me a great hardship that I was born poor, and it seemed an even greater hardship that I should have been born a Negro. I did not like to admit, even to myself, that I felt this way about the matter, because it seemed to me an indication of weakness and cowardice for any man to complain about the condition he was born to."
Booker T. closes his remarks on this issue with this compelling statement:
"It is the man who has no problem to solve, no hardship to face, who is to be pitied. His misfortune consists in the fact that he has nothing in his life which will strengthen and form his character: nothing to call out his latent power, and deepen and widen his hold on life."
Booker T. came to understand that his, "hard, perplexing, but important problem" and even what he thought was a, "great misfortune" was his calling. It was fuel for the fire God put in him.
As I wrote in a past blog post, Why Your Suffering Does Not Excuse You From God's Call, Booker T. Washington learned what the apostle Paul learned, which was to focus on the call and not the suffering.
His, conclusion on this matter helped him to become the primary voice of the Black community from 1890 to 1915.
No doubt he recognized that, many times the issues we face in our lives blinds us from seeing it's purpose in our lives.
It is impossible to get where Jesus wants us without first getting what we need to get there.
Booker T. Washington testimony is not only encouraging, but is a reminder of the following scriptures:
- So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation. 1 Peter 5:10
- God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. James 1:12
- We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. Romans 5:3-5
- What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Romans 8:31
These scriptures remind you of Jesus' assurance that He, is "with you always".