By Gil Holt
I would like to relate a true story that illustrates God’s plan at work. I only recently learned of the details that are involved. Some 60 years ago there were two ladies who were members of the Lord’s church in Athens, AL. These two ladies took an interest in a young girl, by the name of Mary Sue Bailey. They began to invite her to go to worship with them. Upon doing so, she began to learn. As she learned she made application to her life. She obeyed the gospel. Mary Sue began, then, to work on her parents. They began to attend the worship services and were eventually converted. Mary Sue had six sisters and one brother. Each one obeyed the gospel. Mary Sue met and married a young Baptist man by the name of Roy C. Hargrove. She led her husband to the Lord. Mary Sue and Roy had four children, three girls and one son. Each obeyed the gospel. Each has companions that are members of the Lord’s church. Roy was an elder at the time of his death. Most of Roy and Mary Sue’s grandchildren are members of the Lord’s church. Some of them are now married. Those who are, have believing companions. Some of the grandchildren have not yet reached the age of accountability.
I know that, no doubt, other such stories could be told, but this one is of special significance to me. The little girl that was converted through the efforts of the two older ladies was not known by me as Mary Sue, but Mama Mace. She was my grandmother.
What compelled these two Christian ladies to take such an interest in this little girl? There was obviously very little such a young girl could do to benefit them. Were they looking at what she was then, or, perhaps, imagining what she could be? She was not from a wealthy family. It was a family that was well liked and respected, but not wealthy. It was not, then, a selfish motivation that drove them to do this thing. Why did they take such an interest? It’s very simple. They were Christians and it is the business of a Christian to be concerned for the souls of men. These two fine Christian ladies put the Lord’s plan to work. The young girl that was converted put the Lord’s plan to work, as did her parents, her husband, her children and on it goes. Look at the good that was done, the souls that were affected by the interest taken in one little girl.
These two ladies took the instruction to Timothy, not merely as something one preacher told another preacher to do, but they applied it to themselves. “Till I come, give attendance to reading to exhortation, to doctrine. . . Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine: continue in them for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee” (1 Tim. 4:13, 15, 16). “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also” (2 Tim. 2:2). These two ladies recognized, as did Paul, that as children of the most high God they were “debtor” (Rom. 1:12, 15) to take the gospel, the message of salvation, to whosoever will. They being unashamed of the gospel, recognized it to be God’s power unto salvation (Rom. 1:16).
I shudder to think of what my circumstance might be had these ladies offered the same excuses we hear so often today, and had not tried to reach this one little girl. These ladies did not dwell on what they could not do, but recognized what they could do, and did it (read Mt. 25:14-30). Rather than dwelling on the fact that some will not obey the gospel, let us take courage in the fact that some will listen and obey.
By the way, the two ladies have passed from this life as has the little girl, however, their works do live after them. What better epitaph could be written?
Guardian of Truth XXXI: 10, p. 294
May 21, 1987