The Springboard

David Gergen had a front-row seat in the gallery of presidential politics. As an advisor to four presidents he saw the good, the bad, and the ugly. In Eyewitness To Power, he shares his observations and draws helpful implications for those who lead. History is replete with lessons for the observant, so for a moment please set aside your political persuasions. Gergen began his White House career in the Nixon administration so his book chronicles, in part, the enigmatic life of our thirty-seventh president. Nixon lost his first bid for the presidency as well as a subsequent run for the governorship of California. Thus began Nixon’s “wilderness years.” One would think these setbacks would be fatal; however, these times “transformed him as a man and as a leader.”[1]

Gergen writes, “the Nixon story does underscore an important lesson: years in the wilderness may appear to be a sure path to oblivion, but, if seized upon as an opportunity for personal growth, can actually become a springboard to serious leadership.”[2] To his credit, Nixon made the most of his wilderness. God graciously makes the most of ours.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? (Romans 8:28-32 ESV)

God is using all your experiences as a “springboard” for his work in your life. Read carefully and you will see that the cross guarantees this. Would God abandon those he died for? No way! One may not view wilderness waiting as a springboard for anything, but the believer can be quite confident that God is working through them. Are you stuck in the waiting zone? Like Nixon, reflect on your wilderness experience, but like Paul, rest in your sovereign God who will turn this into a springboard for his work in your life.

MY PRAYER: Father, thank you for working in the midst of my wilderness wanderings. I praise you that the cross of Jesus is your reminder that you turn every event into a springboard for my good -- to your glory.

Copyright © 2010 Tommy Kiedis

[1] David Gergen, 2000, Eyewitness To Power. p. 38.

[2] Eyewitness To Power, p. 38.