Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Jewel # 197 (Dec. 10, 2014)

"They shall be Mine, saith the Lord of hosts,
in that day when I make
(Malachi 3:17)

To my dear grandchildren,

Elephants at School

“Every kind of beasts, and . . . things in the sea . . . hath been tamed of mankind:
but the tongue can no man tame.”
(James 3:7-8)

Elephants are included in the above Bible verse and have been useful to mankind over many years. Long ago they were often used in wars to carry soldiers and move heavy equipment. People from royal families still ride on elephants’ decorated backs in parades in some countries, and elephants are useful in other ways too.

In Asian countries they help in forestry work. They will uproot trees, pull them out for cutting, and then carry the logs with their trunks or tusks to storage areas where they cleverly stack them or load them on trucks.

What kind of school do elephants attend? When natives need a worker elephant, they search wild areas for a suitable one. Then several men and two or more big, strong, tamed elephants go after it - an exciting and dangerous experience! First they must isolate it from others, then it is “tranquilized” with a dart from a special gun, and it soon lies sleeping on the ground. Strong ropes are tied around each leg above the foot, and the ends are tied to nearby trees. Another rope, passed around its neck, is tied to the “teacher” elephants standing on either side.

Awakening, the elephant rises and tugs and pulls on the ropes until it learns this is useless. Then the two teacher elephants move in, pressing against it and gently but firmly directing it. Soon the three of them move slowly around, the captive resisting, but gradually learning that neither its teachers nor the men are going to harm it. Soon the teachers take it slowly between them to a stockade where it is released.

With kind but firm treatment and continued teaching, the elephant gradually loses its wildness and understands commands it must obey. Finally the day comes when with the two teachers, the men take it to the forest where they are working. After many trips with the patience and skill of men and teacher elephants, the new member learns how to help with the work and does it willingly. Its school term is over; it has graduated.

It is only too true that we can tame the wildest creature, as the opening verse says, but we are unable to control our own tongues. How unkind the the tongue can be, and how sorry we often are for what we have said, but it can never be taken back.

What can be done about it? By admitting to the Lord Jesus how helpless we are, we can ask His help to control our tongues. He has promised to do just that if we ask Him. Here is His promise:

“I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go:
I will guide thee with Mine eye” (Psalm 32:8).
Will you trust His promise?

Love you all,

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