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*Dr. R.G. Lee was the much loved pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis from 1927-1960. One day when R.G was a little boy, he asked his mother what was the happiest day of her life. Her name was Elizabeth. And she thought back to the time of the Civil War when she was a little girl.

*Elizabeth’s dad had fought for the South. And while he was away, her mom had to do all the work in the fields. One day a letter came saying that her father had been killed in battle. Elizabeth’s mother didn’t cry much during the day. But the children could hear her sobbing at night in their small house.

*About four months later it was summer and they were all sitting on the front porch shelling beans. A man came down the road and Elizabeth’s mother watched him for a while. Then she said, “Elizabeth honey, that man coming yonder walks like your father.”

*The man kept coming down the road, but the children thought, “It can’t be him.” Then as he came to the break in the fence, he turned in. Her mother jumped up and cried, “Children, it is your father!”

*Elizabeth’s mother ran all the way across the field and kissed and cried and held him for the longest time. And many years later, Elizabeth told her son, “It was the happiest hour I ever knew.”

*That’s just a taste, just a hint of the joy-filled future in store for all who have received Jesus as Savior and Lord.

(Adapted from “Illustration Digest” by Jon H. Allen, May-June-July 1994, p. 9) - (Personal note from Jon Allen: R.G. Lee, long time pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church, Memphis Tennessee, and my father were friends. He visited in our home and ate at our table many times. In 1965, I heard him preach in Fort Worth, Texas. This is from that sermon.)

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