Conquered by Love

 •  7 min. read  •  grade level: 8
J—McF— M—, the subject of this narrative, was from his birth the child of many prayers, and was surrounded by the atmosphere of a loving, Christian home, and his mother was a woman of great faith, as well as prayer, and many a remarkable instance God vouchsafed to her of answers to her prayers.
The home was a happy one with everything that could contribute to its brightness, even naturally. Mrs. M—was a wise woman, she did not force "religion" on her children. She lived Christ before them, and waited on God by His Spirit to touch their hearts; they knew that the joy of the Lord was her strength, and His word her delight, yet in spite of all the love and the brightness of his home J—, as he reached the years of young manhood, grew restless. He wanted to see the world, to carve out a career for himself, therefore not long after his father's death he made up his mind to leave home. God was not in his thoughts; the god of this world had blinded his eyes, and self-will and self-pleasing had, for the time hardened his heart, so that in spite of his now widowed mother's sorrow and tears, he left his home and went to America.
Eventually he quickly found a good post, though still so young, as manager of a large coffee plantation, and for a time all seemed to go well with him, and he wrote to his mother regularly every mail, but there was never a sound in his letter to give her any hope that in that distant land some memory of his childhood's home and the Scriptures he had so often heard read, might have awakened some desire after God. His letters were loving to his mother, but no more, and no desire to return.
After a long time, however, the regular letters ceased entirely, and when she wrote anxiously begging for a reply, no reply came. She implored to have a card, a cable, any communication about him, if not from him —still no answer.
In his last letter he had said that he meant to throw up his post, and to travel for a time, and therefore he could give no address; he gave no reason for this course —nothing to still her anxiety. The only mention he had made of any place was that he might possibly "call at Montreal."
Now began her soul's agony. She felt she had lost her boy entirely; he had given her no clue as to where he might be found. She had prayed earnestly before, now she importuned the Lord to give her some comfort about him, some link with her son and above all to save his soul for eternity.
The days lengthened into weeks and the weeks into months, and her heart grew sick with longing and waiting. At last she had a vision. As early one morning she lay in her bed, thinking of and praying for her son, someone seemed to stand by her side, and a voice said to her,
"Write to the Young Men's Christian Association at Montreal."
Quite bewildered, she lay still for a little while, it was all so clear, and yet so unaccountable.
"Write to the Young Men's Christian Association at Montreal," sounded in her ears, and she felt it was a voice from heaven, and that she would not be "disobedient to the Heavenly vision."
So she arose, and dressed, then knelt down and asked God to direct her what to say in her letter. Presently she got up from her knees, and wrote her letter to the Y. M. C. A., telling them the full name of her son, and describing him, and giving all the circumstances of the case, and asking if, for the Lord's sake, they would call a special meeting for prayer—on a certain clay and at a certain hour, both of which she named and she would unite with them in spirit at that hour that her son might be found and that his soul might be saved.
She directed her letter, "To the Y. M. C. A., Montreal, Canada," and counted the days till she could receive an answer, for she felt that the voice she had heard calling her to write, was the voice of God to her, and that an answer must come.
Still her faith was tested, for though the letter arrived duly at its destination, the secretary was away, and no one would take the responsibility of opening it. When he returned, of course, the letter, with it s strange request was opened by him. He took the matter to his Lord, had a night of prayer concerning it, then felt compelled to answer it, and tell Mrs. M—that her desire should be carried out.
The day and the hour fixed arrived, and quite a number met in the Y. M. C. A. Hall, and very earnest prayer went up to the Lord that this unknown young man might be found and restored to his mother, and, above all, that he might be brought to know the Lord and confess Him as his Savior.
The hour passed and a short closing hymn was being sung, when a gentlemanly young man, a stranger, entered the hall, and took a seat next to the Secretary as though directed to do so. The latter, as the hymn ended, turned to the stranger, and said,
"I am sorry you are late for the meeting, that was our closing hymn."
"I do not know why I am here at all," was the answer. "I had not the slightest intention of coming here when I left the hotel this morning, but something impelled me to come in. I could not pass the door. I tried to pass it, but I could not; and I do not know why I am here."
A sudden thought flashed through the Secretary's mind, and he said, "Excuse me, but may I ask your name?"
"J—McF—M—," was the ready answer.
"Then I must tell you," said the Secretary, "that this prayer meeting was entirely about you, and your being compelled to come in is God's direct answer to one half of the petitions that have gone up to Him this morning," and then he told him of his mother's letter, and of all her agony about him, and in a tender pleading way, he put before him the still greater love, greater even than a mother's love, of the One who had turned his footsteps into that hall that morning against his will, and who was even then saying to him,
As the Secretary detailed all the words of his mother's letter, and her request for prayer on a certain day at a certain hour, that she, in a far-off land might unite in spirit with those praying in Montreal that he might be found, and be brought to know the Lord as his own personal Savior, the proud, restless heart was melted, and he burst into tears, as tremblingly he said, "I can't turn away from love like this."
At the moment his new friend scarcely knew whether he meant his mother's love, or the "greater love," but ere long he had the joy of knowing that the second, and far more important part of their morning's petitions was fully answered too. As he knelt and owned his sin, his lost estate, he humbly cried,
"God be merciful to me a sinner," and then thankfully accepted the truth that all the time he had been running away from God. God had been seeking him, and with a full heart he praised Him.
It was a time of thanksgiving for all concerned in that morning's prayer meeting, and wonder, love and praise filled each heart.
"I shall wire to mother to tell her I am coming home with the best of news for her," J—said.
By the next boat he went home, and who can write the joy, the thanksgiving, the depth of feeling in that mother's heart, as she and her son met, and she recognized the great change in him.
"What has God wrought;" she said in her heart, "for this my son 'was dead, and is alive again; and was lost and is found.' "
They had sweet fellowship together now over the Word of God, and in prayer.
"God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Rom. 5:88But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8).
"The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Rom. 6:2323For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23).