?I Will Give Up"

 •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 4
The following story concerns a man named "Frank" who was well known in his community as an exceedingly wicked and careless fellow.
His wife had been converted during some recent revival meetings and prayed much for her husband. But the more she prayed, the worse he became.
Night after night he came home either drunk or swearing about the revival in the church or about her prayers.
He especially hated William Haslam, the evangelist, who was holding the meetings and made terrible threats as to what he would do if ever he caught him in his house. He had a vile temper and was troubled with an artificial leg which made him even worse.
The local authorities employed him for road work. Frank Haslam wrote: "Notwithstanding his bad temper and ill-feeling towards me, I always stopped when passing and talked to him.
"One day when coming along I noticed Frank ahead of me, busy as usual. I began to think what I would talk to him about, but when I came to the spot, to my astonishment, he was not there.
"I looked around on all sides and called, but in vain. No one answered. There was no hedge or tree within sight where he might hide; where could he be?
"All at once I remembered a small gravel pit, some 20 or 30 yards off. I went towards it, still calling, "Frank—Frank!" but received no answer.
"On looking into the quarry, sure enough, there was my man, lying down in the pit, close up to the side, with his face to the ground. I said: "Frank, is that you? What are you doing there? Are you ill?"
" `No, I'm not, what do you want with me?'
"Nothing in particular, but I was so surprised at your disappearance, that I could not pass on without looking for you. I wondered whether I had seen your ghost instead of you. Are you hiding away from me?"
Getting up, he said: "I had a terrible dream last night which frightened me very much. A voice said to me: `Go and see Mr. Haslam about your soul'.
"I will, I will," I said, "first thing in the morning! When morning came, I thought the evening will do. And when I saw you coming, it made me tremble so, that I hid myself."
"Frank," I said, "it's no use for you to fight against God or stand out against your wife's prayers. You had better give in."
"He told me that his dream referred to something in his past life, and sitting down on the bank, he said: `When I was ill the doctor told me that I should die. I then cried to the Lord to have mercy on me, and said that if He would raise me up, I would give my heart to Him.
`I began to recover from that day, and kept intending and intending to give my heart to God; but I never did it.
`I got quite well in health, but ever since that time I've been getting worse and worse in mind.
When my wife was converted, it seemed as if the devil took possession of me altogether, and the Lord warned me again last night.'
"Come now!" I said, "you had better kneel down here and give up!" It was a lonely road through a bare field. Kneel down and let us pray."
He did so, and after prayer he said:
`By God's help, I will give up.'
"No," I said, "that will not do. Say 'Lord take my heart. I do! not I will give up.'
After a short pause he solemnly said: `I do give up Lord. Take my heart!' And then he began to cry.
"I gave him the text: "God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:1616For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16). 'Think over that,' I said, 'and come to the school-room meeting tonight.'
He did so and was saved, to the joy of his soul.
"After his conversion he came one morning to beg my pardon for having forbidden me to his house, and to ask if I would not come and hold a meeting there for his neighbors. I did; and there was such a crowd inside and also outside the house and so much blessing, that I was not satisfied with one visit, but went again and again. Every time we preached there, souls were saved."
God moves in a mysterious way,
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm.
Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never-failing skill
He treasures up His bright designs
And works His sovereign will.