Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: DIARY (05/16/19)
By Catherine Drabble
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He stood out as different to most of his neighbours and friends; the people of the village had long since forgotten about God and mocked anyone with a faith. William knew that there was more to life than the daily drudgery that he had been born into, and although he was often in need of food for his body he was also desperately hungry for God’s word. The following is an extract from his original diary.
‘April 7th “Such a day as this I never experienced before. In the morning was very cold and flat in frame, and had only some parsnips and a little bit of bread for dinner. About two o’clock I set off for a nearby village, where I expected to take some money. I thought as I went along, how kind the Lord was to us in sending such a prospect of wheat, to make bread and how rebellious we are against him, and how unkind to each other. When I got to my destination, I was disappointed in taking my money and returned with empty pockets and my mind full of anxiety.
I prayed to the Lord to help, and give me strength, and my mind grew more composed; still, like Habakkuk, trusting in a faithful God, I thought how glad I should be if the Lord would wend me something to eat. When I got home I was faint and weary from want, and I found that by the special providence of God my sister had sent a barley cake, which was so acceptable and so sweet that I ate it with much satisfaction; and I saw clearly that the Lord was not confined to the means I had made used of. Blessed be the name of the Lord.”’
This man was my great great great great grandfather and in tracing my family history I came across parts of his diary that had been published in a book. His story is real and relevant; he taught himself to read as a young adult so that he could study the Bible and even learnt Hebrew from a local Jew. He initially started a small, secret prayer group and prayed for the lost souls in his his village. Ultimately, he became a Baptist Minister and scores of people in the place he called home began to turn to God.
Obviously, I never knew William personally but his writings have guided, uplifted and inspired me. He understood the legacy that we, as God’s adopted children, have been given and the responsibility that we have to pass it on. He realized the importance of writing our spiritual journey down so that future generations know where they have come from. I have sometimes felt very alone in my Christian walk but finding out that William Hopcraft shared the same faith as me was such a beautiful revelation in my life. I thank God for him and for his prayers and for my spiritual inheritance.
Coincidently, I have kept a spiritual diary for many years; not every day but at times when God has spoken into my life or when I have been through a difficult time and God has, yet again, pulled me through. My words have always been private, for me alone, but thanks to William I now know I must share them with my family and friends and I must leave them as my legacy to future generations. Who knows, maybe someone in two hundred years’ time could come across them and it might just change their life.
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