No Better

 •  5 min. read  •  grade level: 5
Some time ago I was staying with a farmer friend for a few days' rest. His was a Christian household, from the head of it down to the little 14 year old servant girl. The word of the gospel and the contentment that godliness yields were everywhere in evidence. It was restful just to be there.
The time of the year being specially suitable, we decided to hold some gospel meetings in the big barn, and invited all the neighbors to come. They responded well; and some who came without a saving knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, believed the gospel and found peace with God through Him.
Nobody was more anxious to gather the people in to the meetings or more delighted when they came than the little Christian servant. She had a true evangelist's heart, so that I was very surprised after one of the meetings to find her sobbing with grief in the farmyard.
"Why, what can be the matter?" I asked. "You seemed so happy in the meeting."
Then she explained the cause of her sorrow. There had been some at the meeting whom she had specially invited. She had hoped and prayed that they might accept Christ as their Savior. They had gone away though still unsaved.
I thanked God for that girl with her gracious heart and tear-washed face. If only more of the redeemed of the Lord knew how to long and weep for the salvation of souls there would be less indifference in those who do not know the Savior.
The little maid was sent on an errand one day to a shop about a mile from the farm. As usual, she was on the look-out for opportunities for confessing Christ.
"Have you been to hear the gospel messages?" she asked the young woman who served at the counter.
"No, I haven't; and I don't intend to come either," was the retort that surprised her.
"What!" she exclaimed. "You don't want to be a Christian then?"
"No, I don't; but there's a girl in the last cottage of our village. She does; she is telling everybody that she wants to be saved."
Hearing this, the young fisher for souls ran off to the end cottage and found a thoroughly anxious sinner there. She wanted to be right with God, but how? That was her difficulty. My young friend assured her that Jesus was more anxious to save her than she was to be saved! She was quite sure about that, for He had saved her. Leaving her with this comfort, she promised to ask me to call to see her.
The next morning I too visited the last cottage. A girl of eighteen or so opened the door for me. I said to her: "I am looking for an anxious sinner who would like to find the Savior. I wonder if you can tell me where she lives?"
"Yes, sir; it's me," she answered. "Will you come in?"
I went in. Just two rooms were visible—a bedroom and a living-room which also served as a bedroom for the younger members of the family. The girl gave me a chair, and then slipped away into the bedroom. Almost ten minutes elapsed before she came out, and then I understood. She had combed and brushed her hair and put on her Sunday blouse. So ignorant of God's salvation was she that she did not think that she could be saved in her work day clothes. That poor girl had prepared herself, as she thought, to hear the Word of God. What an object of interest to God's angels! For she was a repentant sinner groping after God; "and there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth."
As she seated herself I said to her, "Now just tell me what it is that troubles you and how long you have wanted to be saved."
She said, "It's about three months since I went to hear another preacher at the farm. He made me feel very bad because I found out that I was a sinner. Since then I have said the Lord's Prayer twice every day; but I'm not a bit better."
She was now in tears, and I had to wait some time before she was sufficiently composed to hear what I had to say. But these tears were the evidence of repentance for sin and showed a willing heart for the sweet story of God's love and salvation.
She listened eagerly to the story of the cross; and as I read Isaiah 53 and explained it to her, comprehension flooded her face "with joy and sorrow mingled."
Now she told me that she believed it all—believed that Jesus died for her sins. But, she insisted, she wanted to be sure that her soul was saved. We turned to Acts 13, and read: "But God raised Him from the dead" (v. 30). "Be it known unto you, therefore, men and brethren, that through this Man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: and by Him all that believe are justified from all things." Vv. 38, 39.
Smiles that broke through the tears told more eloquently than words could have done that those words of God had done their work. Humbly we knelt together upon that cottage floor to give thanks to God for His exceeding grace and mighty love for poor, lost souls such as we.
"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast." Eph. 2:8, 98For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8‑9).