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Tom was a young man who had a job as a chauffeur. He earned a good salary, and his boss was kind to him. But there was one thing in his life that troubled and annoyed him. He had a caring, praying mother who lived in a nearby town, and she visited him frequently. But when she came, she would speak to him about Christ and his need of salvation.
“Mother,” he finally said, “I can’t stand this any longer. If you don’t drop that subject for good, I’ll give up my job and move far away where you can’t easily visit me.”
“Tom,” said his concerned mother, “as long as I can talk, I will not stop telling you about your need of the Saviour, and I’ll always be praying for you.”
Tom carried through on his threat to move away. He wrote to a friend who lived in a northern town many miles away and asked him to find him a job in that part of the country. He knew his mother could not follow him there, and though he was sorry to give up such a good job, he told himself, “It’s worth it to have some peace and quiet.”
His friend did find him another job as a chauffeur, and Tom told his mother that it was going to be a relief to get away from her constant preaching at him. But even though Tom was moving far enough away that his mother could not visit him, he would never get beyond the reach of her prayers.
The first day Tom started his new job, he was to drive Mr. Wells, his new employer, out of town. But instead of getting into the back seat as was customary, Mr. Wells sat in the front seat alongside his new chauffeur.
He wants to see how I drive, thought Tom. They had just started the trip when Mr. Wells turned and began to talk to him. “Tell me, are you saved?” Mr. Wells asked. If a voice had come directly from heaven, it could scarcely have surprised Tom more. He was deeply shaken!
God has followed me all the way up north here! he cried to himself. I got away from my preaching mother, but I can’t get away from God! Tom wanted to hide somewhere … far away. He couldn’t answer Mr. Wells, and he could hardly drive for his trembling.
His Christian employer went on to tell him of Christ, and again Tom heard the same gospel message that his dear mother had told him many times. But this time it seemed to have new meaning — God had indeed followed him and was speaking to him, and the message began to sink in. But it did not seem to be a message of good news to Tom; it was a message of terror and condemnation. He knew it was Christ, the Son of God, whom he had despised and rejected. He understood for the first time that he was a guilty sinner. Before they reached the end of the trip, the terrible guilt and fear that gripped him made Tom physically sick — too sick to carry on his chauffeuring job, and so sick he had to go to bed.
For some days he could not even get out of bed. But Mr. Wells came to see him, to read the Word of God and to pray. Soon the love and grace of the Saviour he had rejected began to penetrate his heart, replacing the terror and condemnation that had overwhelmed him.
Tom saw there was mercy for a person who had ridiculed and despised God’s very own Son and His loving offer of forgiveness. He saw that the blood of Christ is the answer before God even for a rebellious sinner like him, and he now believed in his heart the truth of those wonderful words, “We love Him, because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19). He saw that the Lord Jesus had borne the punishment for his sins at Calvary and that, even though he had hardened his heart against God and against his own mother, he was now forgiven — without sin or stain in the sight of a loving God who gave up His only Son so that sinners could be saved.
The first letter Tom wrote to his mother was to tell her the wonderful news: “God has followed me all the way up north here and has saved my soul! Your prayers have
“By grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8).
“Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).