I had an old childhood friend to stop by and visit with me recently. It was an enjoyable time to reconnect with someone of my growing up years. We reminisced about a lot of things that happened in days gone by- - both good and bad.
During the conversation, my friend brought to my attention what many remember about me during my teen years, which was, I was painfully shy. I think that most people who knew me then, never thought I would be doing what I do today. To be honest, at that time, I didn’t see it coming either! But with time, maturity and God’s help you never know how things might turn out in the long run.
I am reminded of a story I once read that took place back in the 1800’s. It involved a prosperous farmer in Ohio by the name of Worthy Taylor. One spring Mr. Taylor hired a young man to help out on his farm. Other than knowing his name was “Jim,” he really knew nothing of new hire’s background.
Jim spent the summer doing whatever was asked of him to help the farm run smoothly. He cut wood, cared for the cows and a thousand other chores. But something else happened that summer that neither Jim nor the farmer anticipated. Jim fell in love with Taylor’s daughter. In fact, he wanted to marry her.
However, when Mr. Taylor found out, he flatly refused to let his daughter marry Jim. He told the young man in no uncertain terms that he had no money, no name and very poor prospects. Shortly thereafter, Jim rounded up what few belongings he had and left.
Then, some thirty-five years later, Mr. Taylor tore down his old barn in order to build a new one. Something interesting happened when he pulled down one of the rafters above the haymow where Jim once slept. It was then he discovered Jim’s full name which had been carved in the rafter years before. It was James A. Garfield, who at that time was serving as President of the United States. Wow! Again, with time, maturity and God’s help you never know!
Who would have ever thought that Saul of Tarsus who was a “blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man” (1 Timothy 1:13) of Christianity, would have become such a valiant soldier for Christianity. Maybe Paul himself gave the best answer: “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
So, let us be slow to judge those whom we feel have no future. With God’s help- - you never know!