There was a time in the early 2000s I was convicted by the Holy Spirit to use my gift and write gospel tracts for my Lord. My two most popular tracts were “A Miner’s Prayer” and “Will Your Anchor Hold?” which I used in street evangelism in Fife. They were also available for free on tracts.com which is where a brother in Christ called Allen found them. He asked me to write a tract for him, a posthumous testimony for his father-in-law, which I share today. To find the tracts I wrote all these years ago still being used thrills my heart. The thrill is not pride, but excitement in my simple words still sharing the Good News today! I recently pondered what had happened to these tracts, and if someday when I go Home I will meet folk who were led there by these tracts – now that would be something to praise God for! So, with some editting here is what I found recently…
The following tract was written in 2005 for a brother in the USA as a posthumous testimony of his late father-in-law. Herb’s story is similar to many people’s story, constantly searching for meaning to their life. Is this you today, if so read Herb’s story and learn from it. Or is this someone you know; why not pass this on to them!
HERB’S SEARCH FOR HAPPINESS
At well over six foot and 380Ibs Herb couldn’t be overlooked by many men. He was determined to get what he wanted out of life; he often said “the world aint gonna give you nothing except a hard time so you have to take it by the throat and make it deliver!” Herb had a good head for business; and if anyone knew how to make a few dollars – it was Herb! In short, Herb was on a mission to secure his own happiness in life.
Herbs’ story begins in South East Kentucky, where he was raised. After the depression he served during the Korean War as a tank commander. On completion of his military service Herb returned home to Kentucky and found employment as a coal miner. After a short time of hard manual labour in the mines Herb decided to get out the mines and into the haulage side of the coal industry buying the first of many trucks. By the 1970s with hard work and determination Herb owned a fleet of thirty-seven trucks, and a major share in a big mining company covering four states. In ten years Herb had went from having little to being a millionaire. In 1980 Herb was satisfied – he had made life deliver, it was time to retire and enjoy the fruits of his labours.
Initially retirement was good to Herb – he was a happy man! But things started to go wrong in 1985 with a visit from the IRS. They seized hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid taxes. Herb always enjoyed gambling, he became a serious adduct in the 1980s. He would often leave home with only $10 and return days later with thousands of dollars: but more often it worked in the opposite direction. He was married with two daughters, but he wasn’t a faithful husband. Poker and women became an expensive lifestyle, which needed funding, thus Herb started selling drugs to try and keep the money flowing. To Herb it was just another way of making a profit, regardless of who it hurt. To those who knew him well, Herb was a caring man who was always willing to help anyone in need.
In 1996 Herb started to behave strangely; forgetting where he put things or not recognising his surroundings while driving well-known roads. Eventually in 1998, Herb was diagnosed with Alzheimers Disease. This was a big blow to Herb, who had always been an independent man. His son-in-law Allen shared his own faith in Jesus with Herb many times which Herb always rejected:
“I know I am going to hell, so I’m going to
live my life the way I want to live it while I
Six weeks after his diagnosis things had progressed so far he couldn’t feed himself. By this stage most of his ‘friends’ had abandoned Herb. The once powerful millionaire that had controlled a business empire employing many men was a shadow of his former self. He was now dependant on his own family. A month before his death Herb received a visit from a true friend, a man called Harry. It was a memorable meeting Herb just nodded or shook his head for most things. Harry shared his concern for his dear friend, explaining how much God loved him regardless of how he had led his life. Herb listened intently as Harry shared how Jesus Christ paid the penalty of his sin on the cross. Finally after a silent pause, Harry asked Herb if he would like to receive Jesus, Herb nodded a strong “yes.” After a prayer Harry asked Herb if Jesus had entered his heart – the answer was already rolling down the cheeks of the hard man, as he wept! After that day Herb often sat on his porch gazing at the church at the end of the road. Three weeks later Herb passed from this life, and went to be with His Lord and Saviour in Heaven. At last Herb had found true Happiness!
The last word goes to Allen, Herbs’ son-in-law:
“If you read this and you are not sure that you are saved, let me tell you…you can be! Just let go of the world and take the hand of Jesus. Ask Jesus to come into your life and set you free from the bondage of this world. Ask Him to forgive your sins and wash you as white as snow, and my friend…He will.”