the_mandela_affect2News of Nelson Mandela’s passing in early December captured the world’s attention for days as television, radio and social media played and replayed the scenes from South Africa. On the day of his funeral, three U.S. presidents and their wives were in attendance showing how important this man’s life and legacy had been throughout the world.

I had vague remembrances of his life’s events – prison, aparthied, being elected president – but watching news reports of his passing and the crowds of people of all colors paying tribute to him, I realized how great a man he was.

Coincidently, on the day of Nelson Mandela’s funeral, I’d been given a free ticket to preview the biographical movie, “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.” Throughout the film, although occasionally flawed of character, Nelson proved that one person could make a difference. The act of forgiveness to those who jailed him set the tone and soon South Africans of all colors united.

For Such a Time as This

I believe God works through flawed people like Nelson Mandela, Abraham Lincoln, Moses, and Esther to set people free from bondage. It was said of Esther: Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:13-15 NKJV).

Maybe we don’t want to step out and try to make a difference. Maybe we’re shy, afraid, too busy or too lazy. God set Moses straight when he balked at leading his people out of Egypt. In essence, God told him that he was already equipped to do the job. Exodus 4:1-2 NIRV tells about the encounter. “What if the elders of Israel won’t believe me? What if they won’t listen to me? Suppose they say, ‘The Lord didn’t appear to you.’ Then what should I do? The Lord said to him, “What do you have in your hand?”

God has planted within us greatness if we just recognize what’s in our hands.