Those four words



My father had a grafted pear tree in his garden. It was a very choice graft, and he watched it with great care. The second year it blossomed, but it bore only one pear. As there would be no more that year, he was very anxious about it. He hoped that no rough wind would blow it off. He looked at it every morning and evening, and was glad to find it safe.

He told all the children on no account to touch it, for the fruit was tender and must not be handled The thought never occurred to him that one of his children would wish to steal it.

Everyone that came to see my father was taken into the garden to look at the pet pear; and they all said that it was likely to ripen into a first-rate fruit, and that next year the tree would bear many more.

I did not touch the pear, but my eyes were often fixed upon it, and I longed to taste it. Instead of resisting this temptation and praying for strength to overcome it, I gave way to it, till I became a slave to it. The desire for that pear got to be my master.

One night, after we children were all in bed, the thought of that pear would not let me sleep. I crept out of bed, and went to the window. My father and mother were not at home, but the back door was left unlocked, for them to get in if they came home late.

I put my head out of the window and saw the tree; after a while I saw the pear. I said to myself, "My mouth is parched and I must have something to moisten it."

I put on my clothes and crept down the stairs on my bare feet, went out at the back door, and soon reached the pear tree. As I stood there, the thought came into my mind, "What will father say?" But I answered the question by saying to myself, "He will not know who took it."

So I had made up my mind to take the pear and eat it. I stood there under the tree and was looking up, with my hand outstretched to take the pear. But just then I saw a star shining down upon me, through the leaves. All at once it seemed as if I heard some one repeat these four words, "THOU GOD SEEST ME."

I put my hands before my eyes, and ran as fast as I could to the open door, and up the back stairs to bed. There I stood trembling. I knew that God had seen me, and I thought my mother and father and the servants and neighbors must know of it, and that everybody would call me a thief.

But I crept into bed and thanked God for keeping me from stealing that pear. Then I fell asleep, and slept sweetly.

The next day my father came in from the garden and said the pear was ripe, and might be taken down and eaten; but who was to have it? I cried out hardly knowing what I did, "God ought to have it."

That was so strange an answer that my father and mother wondered at it and father said, "Pray, what put that into your mind?"

I felt my cheeks getting red, tears came to my eyes, and I began to sob. Then I told how near I had come to being a thief, and how God had made use of that star to keep me from it.

My mother cried aloud; father wiped the tears from his eyes and, taking me very tenderly to his breast, said, "Then it shall be as you say; God shall have the pear, and we will give it to Him through one of His dear children."

"Suppose," said he to mother, "we give it to our neighbor's child, poor little Annie, who has been so long on her sick bed. Her lips are often very much parched, and she seldom has anything to moisten them with but cold water."

Mother consented willingly enough; she went with me herself to carry the pear to the poor sick child. And how she did enjoy it, and how she thanked us for it.

It did me more good than if I had had a dozen such pears given me to eat without any fear or dread.

Here we see how this boy got the victory over temptation by realizing God's presence. -- Bible Models by Newton.


From: THRILLING STORIES For Young And Old By Julia A. Shelhamer, God's Bible School and College, Cincinnati, Ohio. No Date