Posted March 7, 2010
Braxton Bragg was a controversial Confederate Civil War General. Some said he had a sour
disposition, a quick temper, frequent fits of anger and a penchant to blame others for defeat.
Though other leaders were also at fault, Bragg's poor lack of
interpersonal skills seemed to make him the whipping boy for others.
After the war, counterarguments emerged. Judith Lee Hallock called the blaming of
General Bragg for the Confederate Army's defeats in the west the "Bragg Syndrome."
When studying the Civil War in school, the history books failed to tell me Bragg was ridiculed as
a child because his mother served a stint in jail. He was considered a black sheep as
a child and later as a general.
Another tidbit was that Bragg wasn't introduced to the Lord until late in life. Charles
Quintard relates in his journal: "I was resolved to see the General, no matter what happened,
so I said (to the sentry) "It is a matter of death and life." The sentry returned and said:
"You can see the General, but I advise you to be brief. He is not in a good humor." He met
me with: "Well, Dr. Quintard, what can I do for you? I am quite busy, as you can see." I was
very much frightened, but I asked the General to be seated, and then, fixing my eyes upon a
knot-hole in the pine board floor of the tent, talked about our Blessed Lord and about the
responsibilities of a man in the General's position. When I looked up after a while I saw
tears in the General's eyes, and took courage to ask him to be confirmed. At last he came
to me, took both my hands in his and said: "I have been waiting for twenty years to have
some one say this to me, and I thank you from my heart. Certainly I shall be confirmed if
you will give me the necessary instruction."
How many of us are so frightened to speak to loved ones or family members about
their salvation? They're the most difficult to talk to. Jesus's own brothers didn't at first believe he
was the Son of God. How many people do we know who have been baptized several times
but all that happened was they got wet? We're afraid of being rejected, ridiculed, cursed or ostracized
for standing up for Jesus. It's not an easy thing to do in this world during this time.
Jesus said, "If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful
generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father's glory
with the holy angels." Mark 8:38
We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Most of us have been black sheep at one time or another in our lives. And we can all repent and turn back. "Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers." Luke 22:21-32
Sometimes, it takes a simple shared experience and a willingness to speak out.
Someone may have been waiting twenty years for us to share with them.
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