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Years Lost

Posted by Don Johnson on

A Christian man was passing out Gospel tracts. Among those who received one was a gentleman who remarked as he received it that he feared such efforts did little permanent good. "I am not opposed to such work," he said. "In my younger days I did a good deal of it myself, but I cannot say that I ever saw any fruit from it."

The tract distributor was somewhat discouraged by that remark, especially coming from one who evidently was a Christian of many years' standing. But he instantly remembered that his own conversion was brought about by means of a tract which he received when he was a lad, as he walked along the street one wintry night.

As he passed the door of a mission hall a young man, standing evidently for the purpose of getting passers-by to go in, handed him a tract and asked him to go inside and hear the Gospel. He did go in, and heard words there that awakened him to think of eternity and his state before God, and he went home in deep soul trouble. In his anxiety he turned to the tract he had received, read it, and was saved.

The tract distributor told this story to the gentleman, who listened with evident interest, and when it was finished, he said, "May I ask where this most interesting event took place?" The man named the city, the street, the hall, and the very night on which he got the tract and was invited inside. The gentleman's eyes filled with tears; he grasped the distributor's hand, and said with great emotion: "It was my work for many a night, when I was a young man, newly converted, to stand at that door giving tracts and inviting passers-by. But I lost heart soon after that and gave it up, thinking that such work was almost useless. Now after twenty years, God has let me know it was not in vain, and if He spares me to return to the city, I shall by His grace return to the service He gave me long ago, confessing my faithlessness in leaving it."

But the twenty intervening years were lost. How many more golden sheaves might have appeared to that Christian worker's account in the day of Christ had he continued in the service that the Lord gave him to do!

"And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not" (Galatians 6:9).

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