In preparation for a sermon on the Lord’s Model Prayer I came across an illustration I had filed away many years ago in my folder on Matthew 6. So long ago I did not write down the source of the story, something now I never do. If you happen to know the source please pass it on to me.
During the US Civil War, Abraham Lincoln issued an order that for a certain time no man was to go home on furlough. During the time the order was in force a man made his way to the city of Washington to see the President. But they would not allow him to see the President. The soldier said his wife was dying and he wanted to go home and see her. Still they refused to allow his admission. He turned away from the White House with his head bowed and anxiety expressed in every feature.
As he walked down the grounds President Lincoln’s son, Tad, came up to him and taking his hand, said, “What is the matter?” He did not brush him aside. Joseph Parker says that there is a time in the life of every man when the touch of a child’s hand makes him strong. And so he turned to the boy and said, “My wife is dying and I wanted a furlough but they won’t allow me to see the President.”
“Very well,” said the little fellow, “you take my hand, I am President Lincoln’s boy, and I will take you in.”
He led him up the steps to the President’s room, but the guard would not allow him to open the door. He said, “The President is busy.” But the little fellow was not to be put off, and still held on to the man’s hand. Just then the door to the Oval office opened and Tad cried out, “Father, tell this man to let me come in.”
Abraham Lincoln dropped his pen and said to the officer, “Let him in.”
The boy came in with his newfound friend and the soldier told his story. Abraham Lincoln dipped his pen in the ink, signed the order of furlough and sent the man home.
When I read again this true story my mind went to Hebrews 10:19-22 which describes the access we have to our Heavenly Father through Jesus Christ, His Son.
“Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he has consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh….Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith.”
What is even better than the Tad Lincoln story, is the blessing that now God is our Father, whom we address as, “Our Father, who art in Heaven” and have instant access to His presence.