By: Darrelyn L. Tutt
Esther Helmke was one of God’s elect and chosen earthly saints. Displaying a rare maturity of the Christian faith in word and conduct; her life bore out a visual testimony of God’s grace through servanthood in remarkable ways. Her knowledge and love for the word of God was edifying and stimulating and her communion with God was one of deliberate, daily fervency.
I was privileged to know Esther only for a short time, although her testimony had earned her my respect before our relationship began. With this brief overview of Esther’s life, I’d like to share an excerpt out of one of her earlier chapters:
Esther walked into a teaching vocation upon her completion of school. Her responsible, dependable, and loving demeanor made her a “shoe-in” for such a position. One might say she was made for it, although she believed it was given her for another reason:
Somewhere in those early years, Esther felt called into the foreign mission field. An inner war raged within her as she contemplated all she would have to give up in order to go. She prayed earnestly; the call remained the same. Ultimately, her reason won out; she was a young single woman and her singleness, alone, would translate into many obstacles and unforeseen problems. Fears and doubts assailed and prevailed until she finally said “no.”
2) Some ships sail away and we need to respond obediently in our current harbor instead of lingering over an ocean of regret over past decisions. The insights learned in such seasons transpire into godly insights and lessons that need not be repeated and can be used in testimony to credit God’s faithfulness. God will use these lessons and bring them to our remembrance to guide future steps.
“Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous; nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” Hebrews 12:11
3) God will fully restore the individual that humbly comes to Him in repentance.
“And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, and He is the propitiation for our sins.” 1 John 2:1-2a
I have missed a few ships of my own, through disobedience and lack of surrender, and learned that God is indeed rich in mercy, grace, and lovingkindness. The truths of His righteous nature are independent of my fickle nature and He is simply good because He is simply God. Like Esther, I strain with a renewed inward intensity to move with the Spirit and respond obediently to today’s instruction, trusting that God will, in His sovereignty, orchestrate yesterday’s responses for a future glory that I cannot comprehend in my present harbor. In this acceptance I find that I live in a defined way that says, “It is well with my soul.”
By: Darrelyn L. Tutt
Helen Keller went from an untamed, wild, angry child to a bright, articulate, and highly intelligent adult. The affliction of blindness which permeated every area of her life and the lives of those around her proved nothing but destructive until a certain woman by the name of Miss Sullivan made her entrance.
Miss Sullivan made all the difference. Her method of training and instruction was vastly different than that of Helen’s parents; she commanded an unswerving discipline over her unchaste angry pupil by requesting a new environment for Helen to learn in. This new environment consisted of a small little place outside the influence of doting parents and accommodating factors that rewarded ill behavior. This new environment was simply called the cottage.
The cottage began as a combat zone. Helen furiously fought against her environment and her teacher; she physically and literally destroyed everything in her path, striking even Miss Sullivan, who remained adamant and consistent in her training. It paid off. Within two weeks the angry, wild child began to change and demonstrate signs of temperance and discipline. Helen Keller had begun the process of becoming a promising young woman of unlimited potential whose voice would eventually be heard around the world.
I note three significant growth factors in Helen’s life:
- The affliction of blindness.
- The teacher Miss Sullivan.
- The uncomfortable cottage.
Some of us have an untamed, wild, and destructive child living within. We are angry and forced to live within the confines of an affliction or trial that God has ordained and imposed upon our lives. We throw tantrums and reward ourselves with fleshly cookies and doting friends who encourage ill behavior.
God has a different plan.
He gives us a teacher named the Holy Spirit who has one primary objective; to conform us to His Son’s image. With this in mind, He appoints us a new environment with a certain little cottage where He begins to teach us something about ourselves, and even greater, something about Himself. He listens to furniture being strewn about and the desire for old accommodations to be afforded and He provides none of the above …. and over time we emerge from the cottage of affliction with a precious new reality:
“Therefore if any man be in Christ he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
By: Darrelyn L. Tutt
Would you love me if you knew me,
In this heart of wicked bent?
Would you know me if you saw me,
In my mind and where I went?
Would you tolerate or keep me,
At a distance far away?
Would you know me, recognize me,
Still receive me anyway?
Many thoughts I often wonder,
Many times I would confess;
There is little that is lovely,
In this heart of sinfulness.
Simply nothing, simply needy,
Simply coming to embrace;
Simple mercy, simple pardon,
Simply sweet amazing grace.
"As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one." Romans 3:10
By: Darrelyn L. Tutt
8) But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. 9) Now God had brought Daniel into favor and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs. 10) And the prince of the eunuchs said unto Daniel, ‘I fear the lord the king, who hath appointed your meat and your drink; for why should he see your faces worse liking than the children which are of your sort? Then shall ye make me endanger my head to the king.’ 11) Then said Daniel to Melzar whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. 12) ‘Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat and water to drink. 13) Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenances of the children that eat of the portion of the king’s meat; and as thou sees, deal with thy servants.’ 14) So he consented to them in this manner, and proved them ten days. 15) And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king’s meat. 16) Thus Melzar took away the portion of their meat, and the wine that they should drink, and gave them pulse. 17) As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams. Daniel 1:8-17
By: Darrelyn L. Tutt
Two voices spoke from single face:
One named truth, the other grace.
Truth was stern, direct and strong,
Truth declared the right from wrong.
Truth proclaimed the pure and right;
Truth distinguished dark from light.
Everything he spoke was true,
Truth had perfect point of view.
Overwhelmed by all he said,
I sat, I wept, and bowed my head;
And then in depths of great despair,
Another spoke to me with care.
The name behind the voice was grace;
He wiped the tears upon my face,
And gently did he speak my name,
And comfort weary broken frame.
“I’ve come prepared to comfort you;
Truth has come ….. but I have too.
For linked and joined as one we go;
Our goal to aid and make to grow.
Wherever truth should be declared,
Grace shall also be prepared.
Both are needed, both are good,
And when combined, be as they should.
Wise in heart and wise in way,
Will heed and hear what both will say.”
And Christ, Himself, the single face,
Behind the voice of truth and grace.
And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.