Oct 15, 2021
You’ve probably heard of the Ingalls family, or even met some of the clan through the Little House on the Prairie television series, or the beloved children’s books about pioneer life in the 1860s by author Laura Ingalls Wilder.
The story of the Ingalls family is inspiring, whether you watch it or read it. The fun and camaraderie shared by Charles, Caroline, Mary, Laura, and little Carrie is heartwarming, and makes many of us yearn for simpler times, before technology and the hurried expectations of modern life.
In reality, the story portrayed in both the novels and television show isn’t the whole story. The conditions of pioneer life were often harsh, and the situations families faced were dangerous. Starvation, violence, and death were all part of the history of the pioneers as well, and the darker themes of the Ingalls’ life on the prairie were left out of the telling, in part to protect the children the books were intended for, and in part to preserve the memory of Laura Ingalls Wilders’ parents, in whose memory she lovingly wrote her books.
James 1:2–4 says, "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."
What sustained the Ingalls family in books and television, and in life, was their shared faith in God. The legacy of Little House on the Prairie shows us when we invest our hope in the Lord, no floods or winds, grasshoppers or blizzards, poverty, or scorching prairie fires can knock us from the path, or separate us from His love.
Lord, thank you for believers who came before us. Help us to place our faith firmly in you, and to find strength and courage there. Amen.