“It is more beautiful to trust in God. The beautiful in this world is all from his hand, declaring the perfection of taste; he is the author of all form; he clothes the lily, he colours the rose, he distils the dewdrop, he makes the music of nature; in a word, he organized us for this life, and imposed its conditions; and they are such guaranty to me that, trustful as a little child, I leave to him the organization of my Soul, and every arrangement for the life after death. I know he loves me.”
― Lew Wallace, Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ
The Battle of Shiloh was one of the bloodiest of the Civil War. Union forces ultimately prevailed but it’s hard to call a winner with staggering mutual casualties. Thirty-four year old General Lew Wallace didn’t die but his reputation did. He led what came to be known as “The Lost Division” because they marched around away from the fighting for most of the battle due to unclear orders from General Grant. Wallace was relieved of his command and he spent the next twenty years under the cloud of a ruined reputation. During this dark, long chapter in his life, he found both Christ and his calling as a writer. His 1880 novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ was a huge success and his reputation was more than restored.
Ben-Hur is considered the most influential Christian book of the nineteenth century. The 1959 movie won eleven Academy Awards in 1960 and Wallace’s book’s sales surpassed Gone with the Wind.
When it comes to rebuilding reputations, no one surpasses the Lord.
2 Corinthians 10:17-18
But he who boasts, let him boast in the Lord. For it is not he who commends himself that is approved, but he whom the Lord commends.