Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Spanish Armada and a call to teach history

Even though Columbus discovered the New World in 1492, America did not have its first English permanent settlement until Jamestown in 1607. Obviously things were still not in place until the 1600s. In 1587 a group from England tried to plant a colony at Roanoke. Many of the leaders of the colony were forced to return to England because of an impending war. When these leaders returned to the colony a few years later, it was completely gone. Hence the name “The lost colony”. I believe the real reason the colony was unsuccessful was due to the fact that one last piece of the puzzle had to be completed. In 1588 the Spanish decided to send a mighty Armada of 130 ships to take over England. Spain was a Catholic country, and wanted to take control of Protestant England. Whoever won the war would be the country to settle America. As the Spanish Armada got to the English coast, the winds died down and favored the smaller English ships. As the Spanish retreated, a huge storm came and blew many of their ships into the rocks by the shore. They referred to this event as the Protestant winds, and England won a great victory. England would become the mistress of the sea and twenty years later, would begin successful settlement of America. This great example of God’s hand in history has always had a special place in my life. About 35 years ago I was unsure what God wanted me to do with my life. The college I was attending made all of the students attend a teacher’s conference one weekend. While I was walking around at the conference I just happened to come across a workshop about God and History. The speaker was telling about God’s hand in the defeat of the Spanish Armada and the Protestant winds. It was so exciting to see that history truly was His-story. God used that workshop to show me that he wanted me to be a history teacher who would teach young people to see God in history. Was it just coincidence that I walked into that workshop? No, God works in every event in our lives just as He has worked in the past. Psalm 37:23 says, “The steps of a God man are ordered by the Lord and He delights in his way.” How has God been working in your life?

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