Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Jewel # 32 (May 12, 2009)

"They shall be Mine, saith the Lord of Hosts, in the day when I make up MY JEWELS."
(Malachi 3:17)
   
To my dear Grandchildren,

He was only a poor shepherd in Southern India.  His hours were long and his work difficult.  He rode an old ox which he had trained and brought up, and the flock followed him in the true Eastern custom.  One of the difficulties the shepherd had to encounter was the lack of water.  To find a well was a most welcome occurrence.

A day came when the  poor goats had been without water for some time.  Leaving the ox with them, the shepherd wandered a long time in search of water.  Suddenly he came upon an old well, among some ancient ruins.  While he was looking down to investigate, the edge of the well gave way and the shepherd fell some feet.  However, he was caught upon a ledge and his life was spared. 

Somewhat bruised and half-stunned, the poor man began to collect his thoughts.  He was truly in a pitiable plight, more than a mile from his faithful ox and the flock of goats.  He was not able to climb up the side of the well and not a soul could hear his cry for help.
Just then he heard a hissing sound and, though it was growing dark, he saw something moving below in the bottom of the well.  It was a mass of snakes!  What was he to do?  In the hour of his extreme danger, he remembered that when he was a boy there had come into his native village a missionary.  Although he had not taken much heed, he went to hear the white teacher speak.

One thing he remembered the missionary had said, and that was that in the hour of danger or trouble, a certain wonderful Lord Jesus Christ would hear and answer prayer.  With a childlike faith, in agony and fear, the poor man prayed to the Lord for help.  After praying for some time, he seemed to to have fallen asleep.  Some hours later he woke up and found it was dawn - the darkness had gone!  Something was touching his head.  He looked up and saw the face of his old ox looking down at him, and it was the rope dangling from the faithful animal's neck that was touching his head.  Grasping the rope he called to the ox to back away.  Thus he was pulled from the well.  In answer to his prayer God had sent his ox to find him and saved his life.

It was this experience that brought the shepherd to trust in the Lord, and he became a faithful follower of His.  He devoted his life in testifying to his people of that wonderful God who answers prayer. 

"As for me, I will call upon God; and the Lord shall save me."  (Psalm 55:16)
"What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee."  (Psalm 56:3)
"Call upon Me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify Me."  (Psalm 50:15)

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