A Christ-centered Education, Part 5

© 2011 Vicki Lewis

In Part 4, we were looking at how we could give God the glory in everything we do, particularly in home schooling. Using Christopher Columbus as an example, we saw how God used Columbus to carry the light of the gospel to America. As a postscript to that story, do you know that “Christopher” is a name meaning “Christ-bearer” or “one who carries Christ?” God did use Columbus to carry His name across the Atlantic to this new continent!

Here is another example from the area of history--sometimes referred to as His story! Actually, this was the first time I ever realized that God was involved in history at all.

We were studying the relationship between Spain and England. Catholic King Philip II of Spain was determined to eliminate the Protestant religion in Europe. Therefore, he strongly opposed the Protestant Elizabeth I of England. Philip had married Elizabeth’s half-sister, Mary--which was Philip’s Plan A to get England back as Roman Catholic nation. But Mary died childless, thus no heir for the English throne. Plan B was to attempt to marry Elizabeth. She would have no part of that and was actually working, behind his back, to defeat Spain. So Philip began to deliberately plot to overthrow Elizabeth. Plan C was to assassinate Elizabeth and place her Catholic cousin, Mary Stuart, on the throne. The plot was discovered; Elizabeth had Mary imprisoned, then executed. Plan D: Philip decided to invade England.

So in 1588, he sent an invasion force of 130 ships (called an “armada” in Spanish). England had few ships to go up against such a formidable enemy. The smaller English ships, however, were more maneuverable than the larger Spanish galleons. The battered Spanish fleet turned north where it encountered a fierce storm, causing the majority of the ships to wreck against the coasts of Scotland and Ireland. (“The Lord foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the people,” it states in Psalms 33:10.)

So, while discussing this with our children, the Holy Spirit spoke quietly to my heart and reminded me of a Scripture verse, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.”

That verse comes from Luke 8 where Jesus and the disciples were together in a boat, crossing over to the other side of the lake. A fierce gale came up, terrifying even experienced fishermen, and the disciples believed they were in danger of drowning. They woke up Jesus (who was sleeping peacefully despite the pitching of the boat!) and He rebuked the wind and the waves. It became calm--so quickly and so completely that men who had spent their lives on this lake were amazed and a little fearful. It stands to reason, though, that the wind and the waves would respond in obedience to the One who had created them!

It is said that the English Protestants acknowledged God’s help in their victory. There was no doubt that the “Protestant wind” that had wrecked the Spanish fleet came from God.

The historical impact of that one day in history is considerable. “England was preserved from both Spanish and Catholic domination. It accelerated the decline of Spain; weakened Spanish sea power; and weakened Spain’s position in the New World. It established England as a sea power and opened the way for English Protestants, instead of Spanish Catholics, to settle in America.”1 God says He works in the affairs of men and this is what that must look like!

In Part 6, we will be looking at an example of how God has made Himself known in the study of oceanography.

1 World History for Christian Schools by Bob Jones University Press.