God Chose One Weak
Over 160 years ago, before there were any Seventh-day Adventists, something very wonderful and special happened. God’s true people had just experienced a bitter disappointment. They had studied their Bibles deeply and carefully and learned that Jesus was going to clean His sanctuary. These sincere Bible students thought the earth was the sanctuary to be cleansed. They thought it meant that Jesus was coming back to this earth, and they were so excited and happy. However, there was one problem. They did not understand what the sanctuary was or where it was. Jesus did not come to this earth as they expected. What a disappointment! Anyone who has ever looked forward to a very special visitor coming to visit, and they never arrive, can well understand the feeling. That is how it was for these people, only far worse. The special guest they had anticipated was Jesus, and He did not come, at least not in the way they had expected.
When Jesus did not return, many quit following Him. But there were some who remained true and were deeply troubled. They wondered where they had been mistaken. Jesus loved these people dearly. He knew their sincerity. So He did something extraordinary for His dear ones.
One day, as a young seventeen-year-old girl, Ellen Harmon was earnestly praying with four friends. They became alarmed when Ellen quit breathing and had no awareness of her surroundings. They soon noticed that though Ellen was not breathing, her pulse was regular, her skin was healthy looking, and her eyes were open and looking at something as though far off in the distance. They watched and waited. What they did not know at the time was that Ellen was experiencing a heavenly vision. God was showing and telling her special things.
When the vision was over, Ellen told her friends what she had seen. God had shown her the travels of His children on their way to the heavenly city. The friends were so happy and praised God for His goodness. Ellen herself was happy, thinking her duty done. However, one week later, the same angel visited her again and told her God wanted her to share with others what she had been shown.
At that time a group of believers were meeting in the home of Ellen’s parents for Bible study and prayer. The leader asked Ellen to tell the group what God had shown her. Now, Ellen became afraid. She was just a young girl and very weak as a result of a serious accident that had occurred when she was nine years old.
Because of her fear, like Jonah, she ran. On the day of the meeting she got into a sleigh and traveled four miles to the home of a friend. Alone, in an upstairs room she spent the entire day praying to be released from her duty. Finally, near evening, she surrendered to God’s will, promising to share what she had been shown. By the time she arrived home the meeting was over. But when they met again, Ellen faithfully related what God had shown her in vision. This brought great happiness and comfort to the faithful believers.
A few days later, Ellen’s father noticed she was still troubled. When questioned, she talked of how God had told her to share with others what she had seen. She wondered why the Lord had chosen someone weak, young, poor, and having no one with whom to travel. How could she do what the Lord asked? Who would arrange the meetings and how could the people ever hear her soft, hoarse voice. Besides, she felt that the people would only laugh at her.
As Ellen bemoaned the difficulties, feeling weak and frail indeed, her father tenderly spoke to her. “Ellen, if God has called you to do a work for Him, He will make you strong enough to do it, and He will open a way for you to begin. We will pray for you in our meeting tonight.”
That very night, as they prayed, God sent her fresh courage to do His work. She was willing to do anything, go anywhere, if she could only have the smile of Jesus on her.
Just a couple days later, Ellen’s brother-in-law came in a sleigh from 30 miles away, asking her to visit them. Ellen saw God’s hand opening the way to fulfill His call and gladly went. Though the air was icy and her breathing painful due to the cold, she was happy because she was obeying God’s will. When Ellen stood to speak, she tried for five minutes to share her vision, but her voice was so weak and hoarse that it could barely be heard. Suddenly, her voice rang out clear and loud. For two hours she shared about the travels of God’s people on their way to heaven, the second coming of Jesus and the glories of heaven. When she sat down, her voice became weak and hoarse again.
Many people wondered why the Lord chose someone so weak, so frail to do His work. But when they heard the miracle of her voice, they knew the message was from the Lord. They knew that God had strengthened her to give them evidence of His power and care for them.
For many years God worked through Ellen. Through her He sent many messages of hope, comfort, guidance, instruction, even warnings and reproof, always in love, to protect His people and lead them to the heavenly home with Him.