Harriet Tubman (1822-1913) was an African American abolitionist. Many people are not aware of the fact that Harriet Tubman was also a devout Christian who had a very supernatural, first century walk with the Lord. She was totally guided by the Holy Spirit. According to her biographer Sarah H. Bradford, who knew her personally, Harriet could hear the Still Small Voice of the Lord and He also spoke to her in dreams and visions.
Her close, personal relationship with the Lord accounted for her remarkable success in leading many slaves out of the south and into freedom. For example, she astonished people by her ability to always being able to find food for them on their long, arduous journeys northward. She was merely following the leading of the Lord. Her biographer recounts that Harriet would not make a move unless she heard from God. On one occasion, however, Harriet was determined to participate in a military operation that would have resulted in her death or capture. The Lord intervened, Harriet became ill and was prevented from making the journey.
God was totally in charge of Harriet’s life, because she wanted Him to be, setting an example for us all.
We can examine those incidents of Harriet’s life found in Bradford’s record, “Scenes in the Life of Harriet Tubman,” and we will come away seeing Harriet as a shining example of what the Bride of Christ should be. -
Harriet emulated her Lord through her selflessness. As Jesus unselfishly gave Himself for others, Harriet did the same, risking her life over and over again to rescue those trapped in slavery.
Aside from her efforts to free her people, she tended to wounded soldiers during the Civil War. She was often found on the battlefield where soldiers were falling around her on every side. She was fearless in the face of death, confident that the Lord was not going to take her home until her appointed time. Her trust in the Lord was implicit.
She was devoted to serving God her entire life and willing to do whatever He asked of her. We too, should put others first as Harriet did and be willing to follow the Lord wherever He leads us. As we yield ourselves to the Lord and emulate the selflessness of Jesus in our daily lives we will stand out in a selfish society and glorify God.
We are to trust Him and be fearless in the face of tribulation, knowing that because we have put our trust in Jesus, no matter what happens, our souls are safe in His hands.
As Harriet led her people to freedom, so we are called to share the Gospel and save as many souls as we can from the bondages of sin and death.
There are many like Harriet who have served God in this way. To me, she stands out as an example of humility and self-sacrifice that all followers of Jesus should strive to emulate.
Looking at Harriet’s life, we see what it means to be a sincere follower of Christ. Jesus said that in order to be His disciple, we must carry His cross (Luke 14:27). The cross is the symbol of what it means to give up one’s self for another.
Harriet Tubman was a humble woman who endured great afflictions, and made history just by doing what the word of God says His people should do, and be what the Lord calls us all to be, reflections of His love.
Harriet’s life illustrates for us what it means to be a disciple of Jesus; and that’s what it means to be the bride of Christ.
Copyright 2020 by H.D. Shively
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