For All Sunday School Teachers
To all Sunday school teachers I would like to give a brief word of encouragement. Perhaps you wonder if you are making a difference, or if the message you are trying to get across is being taken in by your students. This is my testimonial to a wonderful Sunday school teacher who made a marked impact on my life. Her name was Dolly Cole, and to this day I hold her in high esteem because by the grace of God she was used to introduce me to my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
I think I was about five years old when I found myself sitting in a little chair in her class. She had a flannel board and was teaching a lesson about a family going on a car trip. But the trip was not a vacation but on the road to life itself. The family in the car came to a fork in the road and at the fork in the road signs pointing to heaven or hell. The devil was encouraging them to go his way while Christ was encouraging them to follow him. Admittedly looking back the theology was a little ‘soft’ but in my five year old mind it left a lasting imprint. I knew in that moment that I must be saved.
On another occasion there were about fourteen boys sitting on stumps of logs in the Dryden Baptist furnace room while Dolly taught us the wonders of God’s love and Christ’s redeeming love. Why the furnace room? Because her class just grew and grew so that there was no room in the inn. We knew Dolly loved us and we, without ever expressing such a thing, loved her. I recall another occasion, as we stretched our restless legs on our makeshift wood seats, our dear Dolly asking each one of us, ‘Are you saved?’ Have you given your heart to Jesus?’ I knew I hadn’t and could only disappoint by saying, ‘No, I haven’t’. But the one thing that stuck in my mind from her teaching was that I must be saved. I must be translated from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light.
Dolly was also lots of fun. Her house parties were the best, and we looked forward to them with eager anticipation. This long before TV and other more sophisticated entertainment of our time. But I have since wondered how well we behaved? How she must have despaired that her efforts were swallowed up in the goofiness and thanklessness of youth. I am sure there were times when she was weary and tempted to give it all up. Although we never at any time felt she was anything to us but a shining light of love and kindness and if she struggled we would not know it.
Then one day her teaching was blessed of the Lord. When I was sixteen the Pastor of our congregation asked me if I would like to be baptized? I said, ‘No!’ And he asked me, ‘Why not?’ To which I replied, ‘Because I am not saved.’ I had learned my lessons well. Thank God and all praise to our heavenly Lord, about a year afterwards the Lord began a work of grace in my heart. I always enjoyed church and even as a young person I went Sunday morning and Sunday evening. One evening I sat down in the pew only to discover Jesus was sitting beside me. I felt an awesome sense of his holy presence and my own guilt and sin. This went on for a number of Sunday evenings as I struggled against the gracious presence and calling of the Lord. I told no one of my struggles but kept hidden that God was working in my life. Looking back I now see Dolly’s prayers and the prayers of God’s people on Wednesday evening earnestly beseeching Heaven for my soul were about to be answered.
One Sunday night I could resist no longer as God melted my proud heart and I submitted to his lordship over my life. I then went to the pastor and said, ‘Sir, I wish to be baptized!’ He said, ‘Why now?’ I said simply, ‘Because I have been saved!’ Bless you Dolly Cole. I tell this story because, to my shame, I never thanked her for all she meant to me. But in glory (where she has now departed) I hope to make up for my failure in that regard. In the meantime take heart you teachers, pastors, missionaries and all Christian workers because your prayers, dedication and steadfastness to the Lord’s work can never be in vain. My life is a simple testimony to that, and there are other boys in Dryden who bless a simple lady Sunday school teacher who loved God and loved them.
Isaiah 65:22,23 ‘My chosen ones will long enjoy the works of their hands. They will not toil in vain or bear children doomed to misfortune.‘
Taken with permission from the Sovereign Grace Journal of Canada www.sgfcanada.com
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