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Harriet Tubman's Practice of Scripture Meditation

Harriet Tubman was a spy who, even in moments of extreme danger, demonstrated nothing but raw, calm courage. Born into slavery in the 1820s, Harriet was nearly killed when her master hurled a metal object at her. She staged a daring escape in 1849, then spent years rescuing hundreds out of slavery and leading them to safety. Her code name was Moses, because she never lost a single escapee. During the Civil War, she became a secret agent for the Union Army, working behind enemy lines to scout out the territory. Despite a bounty on her head, she always managed to evade capture.

A devout follower of Christ, Tubman spent much time learning, memorizing, and meditating on various verses in the Bible, such as her beloved Isaiah 16:3: "Hide the fugitives, do not betray the refugees." As she pondered the passages, she turned them into prayers, and in prayer she learned to practice God's presence. "I prayed all the time," she told her biographer, "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.'"

Possible Preaching Angles: In this way, Harriet forged a personality of action and audacity. She built a mind-set that transcended her background and transformed her life. And we can do the same as we habitually hide God's Word in our hearts.

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