The remarkable story of a remarkable woman

Dr. Marc Drake, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church Sun Lakes

In 1820, a woman was born into slavery by the name of Harriet Tubman. Years later, she was almost killed when her master hurled a metal object at her. After staging a daring escape in 1849, she spent years rescuing hundreds out of slavery and leading them to safety. Not surprisingly, her code name was Moses, because she never lost a single escapee. During the American Civil War, Harriet became a secret agent for the Union Army and worked behind enemy lines to scout out territory. Even in the midst of extreme danger, she demonstrated amazing calm and unflinching courage. And although this daring woman had a bounty on her head, she always managed to avoid capture.

An upcoming movie will feature the life of this remarkable woman. I do not know if the movie will emphasize her Christian faith, but I do know that Harriet Tubman was a committed follower of Jesus Christ. She spent much time learning, memorizing, and meditating on the Scriptures, such as the latter part of Isaiah 16:3 which says: “Shelter the outcasts; do not reveal the fugitive.”

She said the following to her biographer: “I prayed all the time about my work, everywhere; I was always talking to the Lord. When I went to the horse trough to wash my face and took up the water in my hands, I said, ‘Oh, Lord, wash me, make me clean.’ When I took up the towel to wipe my face and hands, I cried, ‘Oh, Lord, for Jesus’ sake, wipe away all my sins!’ When I took up the broom and began to sweep, I groaned, ‘Oh, Lord, whatsoever sin there be in my heart, sweep it out, Lord, clear and clean.’”

Harriet understood the supreme importance of hiding God’s Word in her heart by meditating on it daily and turning verses into unceasing praise and prayer. What could be more important? The Old Testament psalmist prayed, “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:11). Through the powerful truths of the Bible, Harriet laid a foundation that transcended her background and transformed her life. And through it all, even in the most dangerous of times, she kept going. For God gave her the strength equal to her days (See Deuteronomy 33:25).

Likewise, how good to know that those today who know Christ as Lord and Savior will never awaken to a morning in which God has given work to do or burdens to bear without providing the strength needed. Caroline V. Sandell-Berg’s hymn speaks to this truth so well: “Day by day and with each passing moment, strength I find to meet my trials here; trusting in my Father’s wise bestowment, I’ve no cause for worry or for fear.”