Have you ever heard of Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi? He was the sculptor of the Statue of Liberty in New York harbor, a gift from France to America in 1886.
I recently saw a documentary that pointed out that Bartholdi worked for several years on his model for this statue. But it originally was going to be a colossal statue of an Arab woman standing at the entrance to the Suez Canal. It was to be called, “Egypt Bringing Light to Asia.” He suggested that it would be as great as the pyramids and the sphinx. But his plan was rejected by Egypt for something else.
Bartholdi had worked so hard for so many years. He felt crushed and rejected, but he didn’t give up. He redesigned the statue and now focused his attention to America. He believed that America would somehow understand the importance and the thrill of having this bigger-than-life, colossal symbol.
He worked tirelessly to make it happen. To help with the raising of funds, he put parts of the statue on display and charged admission. In 1876, the arm and torch were exhibited in Philadelphia. The head was displayed in Paris in 1878.
Today, Liberty Island is one the most popular attractions in New York City, with over 3 million visitors a year. It is truly an inspiration for all of the world.
The great sculptor initially felt rejected and defeated, but he never gave up. I believe that God rewards determination. The Apostle Paul wrote at the end of his life, “I have fought the good fight. I have kept the faith. I have finished the race.” (II Timothy 4:7) I pray that God will give us courage and determination like that!