Why Not Me?
As a lad of six Jesse begged his father for a plot of ground he could call his own.
At last Sam assigned to him a tiny plot and gave him radish seed. This he knew would germinate and sprout quickly. Jesse carefully smoothed the ground and dropped in the tiny seeds.
The following morning he hurried out, expecting to see radishes! Keenly disappointed, he dug down to find the seed exactly as he had planted it. He dug up the radishes three or four times in his impatience, then forgot about them.
One day he visited his “farm.” There to his surprise were radish stalks! They were yellow and sickly from their stormy beginning, but they grew; and eventually they shared the secrets of growth and the rewards of patience with an eager little boy.
Jesse also loved the tiny “library” of their ranch home. At the age of four he began opening books and studying the pictures. The big family Bible, profusely illustrated, yielded the most drama to his youthful eyes.
“Many were the evenings that I lay on the floor with this Bible, poring over the pictures,” he later recalled. “No one told me Bible stories in those days. The pictures were in chronological order with a brief description under each one. I learned quite a connected history of the Bible that way.”
Later, when he was able to read for himself, he frequently perused an edition of Fox’s Book of Martyrs.
“I read it again and again,” he recalled. “It told vividly of the martyrdom of the heroes of faith during the Reformation period. I knew nothing of Catholicism and Protestantism; but men and women being tortured for their faith in Christ never failed to inspire me. Seeing them reject every offer of deliverance if they would renounce their faith left impressions that were never erased.”
A little “preventive” evangelism then would have spared the young man years of heartache later on as he struggled to find forgiveness of sin and assurance of salvation.