Sunday, February 24, 2013

One Girl’s Influence

“A young girl went from home,” writes Mrs. Sangster, “To a large school where more than usual freedom of action and less than customary restraints were characteristics of the management. She found very little decided religious life there—an atmosphere, upon the whole, unfavourable to Christian culture. But she had given herself to the Lord, and she could live nowhere without letting her light shine.

“In a very short time she found two or three congenial spirits, more timid than herself, but equally devoted. A little prayer meeting began to be held once a week in her room. On Sabbaths in the afternoon, a few of the girls came together to study the Bible. Before the half year was over, the hallowed flame had swept from heart to heart, and there was a revival in that school.”

Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.” ― Albert Schweitzer

“Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” (1 Timothy 4:12)

This is something I strive daily to do—to be an example to those around me. But time and time again, I find myself slipping. I find myself doing things that don’t set good examples. And I remember the verse, 1 John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” So I confess. And purpose in my heart to do better next time. But then, somewhere along the line, I slip again.

I—through my daily walk and talk—am setting an example. Many people, wherever we live, look at us, and are observing how we act. What kinds of clothes we wear. What kinds of things we do. They are watching closely! Much more closely than you—or I—would ever want to guess. Then I ask myself: am I following the Lord as well as I should be? Am I doing His will to the best of my abilities? Many times, I have to answer those questions with a “no”. No, I am not doing my best to further His kingdom. I’m trying to please myself and my wants and wishes more. And I feel disheartened and discouraged.

I haven’t found the perfect answer to being a “good” example. The only person who was a perfect example in the world’s history was Jesus. I’m not a “good” example, even though people may say so. I’m only human.

I can try! I can try my very hardest, but I’ll never, ever be as good as Jesus. Look to Him—and only to Him, sisters! We might only be a little teeny tiny star, but if the light is able to reach just one speck of darkness it will be worth shining. It will be worth pressing toward the goal.

Ahh—how that story touches home with me! As I look into the future, to where I myself might possibly be going to college, I wonder how life will be for me there. Will I find other Christians, fellow believers? Will I be ridiculed for my faith? I don’t know. I don’t have the answers. But if I can be enough of an example that other girls I come in contact with will blossom in their faith, any discomfort or derision I come across will be worth it. No, more than worth it.

I don’t know what situations you might be facing in the coming days and weeks, but please know—you are precious in God’s sight.

“Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life.” (Isaiah 43:1b-4)

What precious words! “I have loved thee”. He loves you. He cares for you. Rest in Him; He was the Perfect Example, and He loves to teach each one of us, in His own special ways, how to be an example to others.

Psalm 37:7, “Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.” He will give you more—much, much more—than you could ever dream of. Praise the Lord!

A Short Adieu
Dear Friends,

For the next two months I will have to resign from writing on here. My Grandparents flew from the States to New Zealand just two days ago, and they will be here for the next three weeks. A week after they leave, Mum and a few of us children are flying to the States for a quick three-week trip! The next two months look like they are going to be an extremely busy (and yet fun!) time for us. I probably won’t have much time to do any blogging (if at all!) so don’t be surprised if you don’t hear from me. :)

May God bless your few weeks and months ahead. May you all grow in His wisdom and grace.
Blessings on each and every one!
Esther Rose

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And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”Colossians 3:17 (NIV)