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In the thick forests of the Virginia coastal region, Indian children had played for generations. They had imagined themselves brave warriors or as the mothers of great chiefs. They knew the land and how to gain their living from it. However, no one in 1607 could imagine the power that one of these young lives would have on the destiny of America. But she was no surprise to God, her Creator. He had planned her life, as short as it would be, to be one of the most useful in history.
Her name was Pocahontas and she met the Jamestown settlers quickly after they had landed. Captain John Smith, the bold adventurer, wanted to meet the natives. He left the safety of the group shortly after they landed and went looking for the inhabitants of the region. However, his experience with them would not prove altogether friendly. He was quickly captured and taken to Chief Powhatan, the father of Pocahontas. After preparing a meal for him and treating him like an honored quest, suddenly the Indians turned on him, apparently preparing to kill him. They bound him and laid his head on a large stone. Then, picking up clubs and dancing wildly, they advanced toward him. Smith expected at any moment to be beaten to death. But then, in a shocking move, young Pocahontas, only eleven or twelve years of age, suddenly moved toward him, taking his head and pulling it up into her lap, she bent over him, shielding him from the screaming braves and cried out to her father to spare his life. By the mercy of God, Powhatan did spare Smith’s life. Indeed, he accepted Smith into the tribe as a brave friend. That friendship would often save from destruction the Jamestown settlement. Thus, Pocahontas was used of God to preserve the first English colony in America.
Pocahontas also saved the colony on several occasions by bringing food to the starving settlers. A number of the Jamestown men were arrogant and unruly. They loved to eat but not to work! Their indiscipline nearly destroyed the colony in the early going. But Pocahontas’ acts of kindness helped the colonists ‘squeak by’ those first few years.
When Pocahontas was about sixteen she received Jesus Christ as God’s Son and her personal Lord and asked to be baptized. Having been carefully instructed by the best men in the colony concerning the ways of Christ, she renounced her pagan worship and fully committed herself to Christ. Her baptism was the beginning of many of the Indians turning to Christ. This let the other Indians see, first hand, the power of the risen Christ living inside their friends and relatives. It opened the door for the flow of the Gospel into this continent.
At age seventeen, Pocahontas was married to one of the best men in the Jamestown settlement, John Rolfe. Rolfe was a true Christian gentleman who treated her with all the love and respect one would expect of a Christian man. One son, Thomas, was born to them before Pocahontas’ life was cut short during a visit to England the following year. From Thomas would come generation after generation of ministers, educators, and statesmen. Of Pocahontas’ descendents, John and Peyton Randolph would be just two of the many who would be very instrumental in America becoming a Christian Republic in 1776.
Such was the life of just one young girl who was willing to be an instrument in the Hand of God. As Psalms 139 teaches, her days were planned by God, and He moved her to do the acts necessary for the Gospel to be planted on this continent. Nothing is more powerful than a life in the Hands of God.
Are you teaching your children God wants to use them to get the Gospel to their children and the next generation? You know, that is their purpose.
Think about it; because if you don’t, someone else will do your thinking for you—
and for your children! And you won’t like what that brings to you. I’m Don Pinson, this has been Think About It.