I Can Push a Bit
by Inglis Fleming
“Yo! heave ho! Yo! heave ho!” and slowly the heavy boat is urged over the greased slides by the sturdy fishing folk towards the rippling waves, and ere long the “smack” is launched, the crew giving the final push, and then, rapidly swarming the sides, they prepare for their arduous toil, leaving their fellow-helpers on the shore to mend their nets, and to await the launch of their own boats.
How many can help to launch a boat—that which a few could not perform can be accomplished by the many, all working together,—all doing their little, thus the great thing which seemed almost impossible is easily effected.
There are, I doubt not, many young readers of “Scattered Seed” who do know the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour, and I do pray that they may seek to proclaim God’s glad tidings to their schoolmates and friends. In this all can help, from the eldest to the youngest, and even if it is but the earnest prayer for an acquaintance or relative, a simple question to brother or sister, a little tract or book given to a passer-by, the Lord can bless the least thing done in His name, and for His glory, and use it for the help of precious souls.
Let me tell you an incident I read, which simply shows how much even a lad may do:
On the wild, rock-bound coast of Cornwall, intense excitement prevailed some years back, as, during a severe storm, a barque was driven on to a reef outside the harbour, and was in imminent danger; soon she would break up, and those on board perish.
The few fishermen on the shore rushed for the life-boat, and attempted to launch it. In their haste, however, by some mishap, the wheels of the life-boat carriage became embedded in the sand, and defied all the attempts made to run the boat down to the waves.
Again and again the brave men strained their strength to the utmost, but without avail. Though their sorrow was great and heartfelt, yet they could not move the carriage another inch.
Among the quickly gathered crowd of women and children was little Harry Blair,—his cap tightly pulled down over his head, and his hands thrust in his great coat pockets in true boyish style,—earnestly watching all that went on; and when at last John Trehern, the foremost of the fishermen, gave up, saying, “It’s no use; we can’t save them,”—Harry Blair spoke out, “Oh! men, don’t give up, have another try, and I’ll help you.”
“God bless you, Master Harry, your heart’s good, but what could you do?” replied John,
“Why, John, I’ll do my best; of course I am not big, but I can push a bit.”
Harry Blair seized a rope, his example stirred the women to action, none stood idly by, all pulled their best, all pulled together, and slowly but surely the embedded wheels began to move through the loose sand. The life-boat was launched, the wreck reached, and her crew of thirteen hands all saved from that watery grave.
Many and many a time the story has doubtless been told along that dreary coast, how Harry Blair “pushed his bit.”
Oh! be in earnest, dear young Christians, thousands are perishing all around, hundreds are longing for a word or two about their precious souls, and about your precious Saviour.
Your school-mates and friends, may be, are expecting you to direct them to the Lord Jesus. Many of them are in almost heathen darkness, thinking only of works, or prayers, or tears, as the means to put away their sins, they know not the love of God, nor His wondrous gift. Will you be silent, you who know it all? They know not that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Will you not tell them?
The value of His precious blood, which cleanseth from all sin, is quite a strange sound. Will you not speak of it?
Oh! tell them of that risen Saviour, Who has finished the work, and Who is now seated at the right hand of God; tell them that ere long He will fulfil His own blessed promise, and come to take His loved ones home; and tell them how those ready will go in with Him, and those unsaved and unforgiven will be shut out from Heaven’s joys, and eternal judgment be their certain portion.
Seek to “live” the gospel too, remember actions speak louder than words, and your words and ways will be watched most keenly.
Do try and “push your bit,” as the Lord may lead you, and perhaps then, halting, wavering ones will be helped to a steadier, closer walk after Christ, anxious souls may be led into peace, and the careless ones aroused, and thus the Lord Jesus be glorified and your own souls refreshed and encouraged.
The Lord Himself stir you all up in this “little while” ere He comes, to be outspoken and true, while you wait His sure return.
Scattered Seed 1885, p. 151