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CATCH THEM YOUNG AND THEY SHALL BE

“Catch them young and they shall be yours forever,” has been the popular saying. However, since language is evolving, permit me to say “Catch them young and they shall be the Lord’s forever,” so that the story I share conveys a better meaning to readers.

This story is an illustration of how a young boy was able to do exploit for the Lord God. It is a call on the elderly especially Christian parents to train their children in the fear of the Lord: studying God’s word, praying and above all cultivating a strong faith. By doing this, there is no need to fear since these younger ones will performer better when their parents are not available. Additionally, it an alert to all and sundry that God is ready to use anyone regardless of age.

Some time ago, a Chinese boy of twelve years old, named Ma-Na-Si, a boarder in the mission school at Chefoo, went home for the holidays. He was the son of a native pastor. While standing on the doorstep of his father’s house he saw a horseman galloping toward him. The man was a heathen and was highly disturbed. He eagerly inquired for the Jesus man –the pastor. The boy told him that his father was away from home. The poor man was much distressed, and hurriedly explained the cause of his visit. He had been sent from a heathen village some miles away to fetch the holy man to cast a devil out of the daughter–in-law of a heathen friend. He poured out his sad story of this young woman who was being torn by devils. She was raving and reviling, pulling out her hair, clawing her face, tearing her clothes, smashing up furniture, and dashing away dishes of food. He told of her spirit of sacrilege, outrageous impiety and brazen blasphemy. These outbursts were followed by foaming at the mouth and great exhaustion, both physical and mental. “But my father is not at home,” the boy kept reiterating.

At length the frenzied man seemed to understand. Suddenly he fell on his knees and stretching out his hands in desperation, cried, “You, too, are a Jesus man. Will you come?”

Think of it – a boy of twelve. Yes, but even a lad, when fully yielded to his Saviour, is not fearful of being used by that Saviour. There was but one moment of surprise, and a moment of hesitation, and then the boy put himself wholly at the Lord’s disposal. Like little Samuel of old he was willing to obey God in all things.   He accepted the earnest entreaty as a call from God. The heathen stranger sprang into the saddle, and, swinging the Christian boy up behind him, he galloped away.

Ma-Na-Si began to think over things. He had accepted an invitation to cast out a devil in the name of Christ Jesus. But was he worthy to be used by God in this way? Was his heart pure and faith strong?  As they galloped along he carefully searched his heart for sin to be confessed and repented of. Then he prayed for guidance about what to say and how to act, and tried to recall Bible instances of demoniacal possession and how they were dealt with. Then he simply and humbly cast himself upon the God of power and mercy, asking His help for the glory of the Lord Jesus.

On arrival at the house they found that some of the members of the family were forcibly holding down the tortured woman upon the bed. Although she had not been told that a messenger had gone for native pastor, as soon as she heard footsteps in the court outside she cried “All of you get out of my way quickly so that I can escape. I must flee. A Jesus man is coming. I cannot endure Him. His name is Ma-Na-Si.

Ma-Na-Si entered the room, and after a ceremonial bow knelt down and began to pray. Then he sang a Christian hymn to the praise of the Lord Jesus. Then, in the name of the risen Lord, glorified and omnipotent, he commanded the demon to come out of the woman. At once she was calm, though prostrate with weakness.

From that day she was perfectly whole. She was amazed when they told her that she had uttered the name of the Christian boy for she had never heard of it or read of it before, for the whole of that village was heathen. But that day was veritably a beginning of the days to those people, for from it the word of the Lord had free course and was glorified.

To conclude, beloved reader, I do not know how this little narrative affects you. It is the one that moves me to the very depths of my being. It seems to me that most of us know so little of the power of God-so little of His overwhelming, irresistible love. Oh, what love is His! Now every time we pray that wonderful love envelops us in a special way.

We should oftener seek communion with God in prayer, Dear Christian.

 

WISDOM MAWULI AWUTTEY

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