by W.B. Screws

The Pilgrim's Messenger

"Have a pattern of sound words which you hear from me, in faith and love
which are in Christ Jesus."--11 Timothy 1:13
Published Monthly By W. B. SCREWS, Glennville, Georgia
Twenty-five Cents a Year


August, 1948

Number 1

Entered at the postoffice at Glennville, Ga., as second-class matter.

The heading is a quotation from I Cor. 15:10. It is true of me, even as it was true of Paul.

On August 30, 1948, I will be sixty-four years of age. But I seek not to glorify myself in this article. I seek to glorify God.

Not alone for sixty-four years, but in all the past eons, God has been engaged with me. And what I say about myself is true of all others. It is no accident that I was born. There has never been a time when I was not in God's plan. There were only two persons who could be my parents. He was engaged since the beginning in seeing to it that those two persons were born at the right time,---and this included seeing to it that all of their ancestors were born, and that the right children were born to them, all at the correct season.

There were millions of sperms together. Only one could produce me. Humanly speaking, there were millions of chances that I would not be produced, to one chance that I WOULD be. But, as I look at it as the work of God, I believe that there was never the slightest chance that I would NOT be born. God had planned it. God has produced every person that was ever born. No couple of humans can produce a human being. But God can do it, through them. There was no more probability that I would be born August 31, than there is that the sun will rise in the west tomorrow. August 30 was the day He had planned for my birth, and August 30 it was!

I could not take care of my self before birth. Nor has there ever been a moment since birth, that I could do it. I have been in His hand all the time. Yet those whom He used, were not conscious of His part in the affair.

When I was an infant I survived a case of poisoning, and when I was a little order I recovered from pneumonia. The recovery in each case was brought about through a physician, but there was never any probability that the doctor would fail to be on hand at the right time. Since becoming a man I went through a "spell" of typhoid fever, and, later, underwent two operations. I did not know how either would terminate, but I was still in the hands of God. It was He Who enabled the local doctor to "pull me through" the fever, just as it was He Who guided the hand of the surgeon in the other cases.

As a boy I encountered many dangers, seen and unseen. If I was careful in such cases, it was He Who made me so. I reached manhood because he had a purpose in my living, and not because of any knowledge on my part, or on the part of my parents, except that He gave such knowledge as was necessary.

In early childhood I often prayed for material blessings. It was God Who caused me to pray. If He blessed me through prayer, it was not because I changed His mind about it, just as the rising sun does not thwart God's intention to have darkness continue. He planned to accomplish certain things through prayer, just as He plans to bring light through the sun.

It was no accident that I was at a certain place at a certain time, and, while listening to a sermon, became interested in things of the spirit. It was God Who brought the preacher there and brought me to hear him. This was when I was a boy. For more than fifty years I have loved God, not because I took a notion to love Him, but because He planned it.

It was no accident that I have experienced many failures in life. He planned it so, just as he gave to Paul the splinter in the flesh. If I had been able to live without mistakes, I would have been very proud. God planned that I should always be conscious of my dependence on Him and He knows just how to order my life to bring about such result.

Some time ago, a man said to me, "Take care of yourself". Immediately the the thought came to me, "I have never been able to take care of myself, either before or after my birth".

This is what it means to me when I read in the word that all is of God. I cannot find it in my heart to limit it. I verily believe that ALL is of Him. There is plenty of room for exhortation, warning, prayer, and teaching of accountability. If I issue warning or engage in exhortation, or pray, all is of Him. The results are, likewise, of Him. When I do that which is wrong, I am accountable, notwithstanding the doing is of Him. Accountability is necessary, in order to humble me. On the other hand, If I do that which is noble and fine, it, too, is of God. And He blesses me in the doing, (not FOR the doing), just as I smile on my grandson when he buys me a present with the money I provided.

Paul says God is not far from each one of us, and that we may grope after Him. I have never been engaged in sweeter exercise than groping after God in everyday experience. With my heart and mind on Him through His Christ. I can see Him in everything that appears before my eyes, and hear Him in every sound. I arise in the morning with the knowledge that the day is planned and is entered on God's calendar.  I do not know what it holds for me, but I know that He knows, and has planned it. Therefore each new day is an adventure, for it is a venture into the dark, depending on Him. This makes life interesting. There is not a dull moment. I see His hand and His purpose in every experience. And when night comes I retrospect the day, and am able to thank Him for all that came to me, whether it was pleasant or painful. Is there a flower in my path? He has been there. Do I hear the song of a bird? He speaks to me through the throat of the feathered creature. Do I feel a breeze? It is He, touching me. Does the sun shine in brilliance? It is His robe I see. Does night begin to fall? It is my God calling me to rest.

Have I had the privilege of serving His saints during the day? God has honored me. He used me, not because He needed me, but because I needed Him. Have I made grievous mistakes? There is a purpose in it, for it leads to humiliation, and I need that.

There is not much pleasure in believing that all is of God only when matters are going according to my desires. I thank Him that He enables me to believe it in the midst of grief, vexation and disappointment. Everyday faith is what is needed---not merely fairweather faith. This keeps me from becoming angry at anyone, for anything. If a person does wrong, God will look after it, for it is of Him. I do not need to become vexed at him. Leave it to God. Think how much energy is expended by being angry at someone. How much better it is if that much energy is used in thanking and praising and serving Him, and in serving the people in His name!

Man belongs to the race of God, says Paul. Man is not like the lower order of creatures. He is in the image of God. He belongs to a noble race. Man can never change himself, and become something lower or higher. After the transgression of Adam he still was a member of the race of God. My life may be full of failures, but I remain a man until the last. I can never become less. There may be much suffering for me. But there can never be a veto of God's plan. Because I am a man---because I belong to the race of God---there is no never-ending damnation for me. That is not what God made mankind for. It was a Greek poet who said, "We are of that race," and Paul, in his talk in Athens, Acts 17, endorsed it. It is true. And until some process can be found by which man can make himself less than human, there will be no possibility of anyone ever being endlessly separated from God. The salvation of all mankind is an absolute necessity. God's purpose in creating the race of God demands it. He accomplishes it thru Christ.

So, if it is His purpose that I shall continue to live, I will reach my sixty-fourth birthday anniversary and go on beyond, young in spirit, able to see the beauty of God everywhere, to hear His voice, to feel the touch of His hand, and to know that he manifests Himself in millions of ways. He deserves all glory for my attitude toward Him. In the grace of God I am what I am.

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