You Could Go By Yourself
Several years ago I heard brother Perry Cotham teach a Bible class on the establishment of the home. As he talked about the family, he told of a gospel meeting conducted many years in Oklahoma City by brother H. Leo Boles. The year was 1940, and brother Cotham was preaching in Oklahoma City at the time (John Banister, by the way, was also the local preacher at another congregation in the city). During the meeting brother Boles, in addition to the evening services, spoke each weekday morning. One morning the building was particularly crowded, with many standing at the back of the auditorium, and even some outside. On this occasion brother Boles told of a young lady whose husband attended services with her, even though he was not a Christian. One Sunday morning, however, he announced that he was staying home. No doubt she was surprised and upset, but she calmly said that she was going to go, even if he didn’t. Apparently he was upset that she was going without him, so he told her he wasn’t going to hitch up the horse and buggy for her. She simply said she would walk, and picked up their little baby girl and headed off down the hot, dusty road. She arrived a little late, but she was there, and after services friends gave her a ride home. She got up earlier the next Sunday so she would have time to walk to the church building, and again after worship friends gave her a ride home. Before long the husband relented somewhat and began taking her to services. At first he sat outside in the buggy, but at some point began coming into the building for short periods of time, sitting at the back, acting bored, even irritated. He gradually stayed longer and longer and in time was again worshipping with his wife as before. Years passed and one Sunday morning, when brother Boles was at the congregation conducting a gospel meeting , the couple’s daughter, now a young teenager, went forward with several others and asked to be baptized. It was announced that the baptisms would take place immediately at a nearby pond. As brother Boles was getting ready for the baptisms, this father, who had grudgingly returned to worship services years earlier, came and spoke with him. He asked brother Boles if he was going to extend the invitation at the “water’s edge,” as they said back then. Brother Boles said yes, he usually made a few comments about baptism and asked if there were any others who wished to be baptized. The man then told brother Boles that he had known for a long time what he ought to do. He then asked brother Boles to do two things. First, he wanted brother Boles to baptized him, and secondly, he wanted brother Boles to baptize him before he baptized his daughter. Brother Boles, of course, happily agreed to the man’s request, and when the invitation was offered at the pond the father quickly went forward and was baptized. No doubt there were many tears of happiness shed on that occasion, and years later, as brother Boles was recounting the story in the Oklahoma meeting, there was hardly a dry eye in the entire building. \
What about you? Have you allowed circumstances and indifference to interfere with assembling with the saints and worshipping God? Do you have the fortitude and perseverance this young mother displayed? Or, like this husband and father, is there something amiss in your life that needs to be corrected? If you’ve not yet become a Christian, or if there’s some long-forgotten, or almost-forgotten, sin in your life, won’t you make it right? Won’t you get your life right with God, and enjoy the blessings of being a Christian, now, before it is too late?