Lately Jonathan and I have been reading the autobiography of Hudson Taylor, missionary to China in the 1800's. We wanted to share a bit of the chapter we read that just humbled and spoke to our hearts:
"Having now the twofold object in view of accustoming myself to endure hardness, and of economizing in order to be able more largely to assist those among whom I spent a good deal of time laboring in the Gospel, I soon found that I could live upon very much less than I had previously thought possible. Butter, milk, and other such luxuries I soon ceased to use;and I found that by living mainly on oatmeal and rice, with occasional variations, a very small sum was sufficient for my needs. In this way I had more than two-thirds of my income available for those purposes; and my experience was that the less I spent on myself and the more I gave away, the fuller of happiness and blessing did my soul become. Unspeakable joy all the day long, and every day, was my happy experience. God, even my God, was a living, bright reality; and all I had to do was joyful service.
It was to me a grave matter, however, to contemplate going out to China, far away from all human aid, there to depend upon the living God alone for protection, supplies, and help of every kind. I felt that one's spiritual muscles required strengthening for such an undertaking. There was no doubt that if faith did not fail; God would not fail; but, then, what if one's faith should prove insufficient? I had not at that time learned that even, "If we believe not, he abideth faithful, he cannot deny himself"; and it was consequentially a very serious question to my mind, not whether He was faithful, but whether I had strong enough faith to warrant my embarking in the enterprise set before me."-(Hudson Taylor, pg. 21-22)
As Jonathan and I read this chapter last night (this is just a small part of the rest of the chapter) we were blown away and humbled by the candidness of Hudson Taylor and the similar feelings I (Adrienne) had about this venture. Even though we can outwardly say, "I believe and trust God for all things," I am realizing I can put my trust in other things like the "promises" and "securities" of mine and Jonathan's job (Benefits, 401K plans and such). In reality, those things in themselves don't provide the security we need. To take this step in faith is challenging whether we trust God to do what He said He was going to do. He promised to take care of us for all things.
Matthew 6:25 "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, that you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to this life?
And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." (Amen!!!)
Bless you guys,
Adrienne for the "Ferg4"