"And they said unto Moses, 'Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt?'"
Exodus 14: 11
King James Version
"Who Is Your Leader"
"In tribulation, immediately draw near to God with trust, and you will receive strength, enlightenment, and instruction."
John of the Cross
When trials strike my life, do I forget who is leading and guiding me every step of the journey?
"Afflictions are but the shadows of God's wings."
"There are three stages in the work of God: Impossible; Difficult; Done."
He was born May 1, 1832 in Barnsley, England. A rather frail child, Hudson Taylor was the son and grandson of preachers.
While a child of great faith, during his teen years, he wandered farther and farther away from God. Of course, his declining interest in spiritual matters worried his parents. His sister Amelia decided that three times a day she would lift her brother to heaven in prayer – and soon her prayers were answered! PRAISE GOD!!!
One day, Hudson found a tract on the ground. He made up his mind not to read it thoroughly but as he began to read, conviction seized his heart and he committed his life to God right then. His dear sister was the first person he told and Hudson asked her not to tell anyone else.
Hudson's mother had not been home when this transformation took place in her son's life, but upon arriving at home, Hudson announced his conversion and his dear mother responded, "I know, my boy." Hudson was unhappy thinking his sister had told her but his mother informed Hudson that, "No one told me. My heart became so burdened for you a fortnight ago that I determined not to arise from prayer until the assurance of your salvation came. So clearly did it come that I have been praising God ever since."
Hudson had such peace in his heart and he offered God his life. And it was as though an audible voice from God said to him, "Go to China!"
As a young man in England he began studying the meaning of Chinese letters and undertook the task of learning the Chinese language. To further prepare himself for service, he became the assistant to Dr. Hardey for he believed that if he could take care of sick bodies first, it would give him the opportunity to care for sick souls, as well.
Hudson met a German missionary who had traveled from China and when he saw the light hair and eyes of Hudson he told the boy that the Chinese people would be afraid of him. Hudson responded, "Yet it is God who has called me and He knows all about the color of my hair and eyes."
All through Hudson's preparation for mission service in China, he watched as God supplied his needs – and his faith in God's leading only increased.
Finally, Hudson left England by ship on the sailing vessel, Dumfries, for a 5 1/2 month journey. As the ship left Liverpool, Hudson gave his mother a note which read: "The love of God which passeth knowledge. J.H.T."
The trip was a stormy and trying one but Hudson Taylor said that when he stepped aground in China, "My heart felt as though it had not room and must burst its bonds, while tears of gratitude and thankfulness fell from my eyes."
He began his ministry for Jesus in China often traveling by houseboat. Throughout his work, the promise "The Lord will provide (Genesis 22: 14) and "Hitherto hath the Lord helped us." Were his "favorite mottoes."
In China, Hudson Taylor met Miss Maria Dyer, an English girl whose father was also a missionary to China. They married in January 1858. After six years they traveled for a short visit to England where their health was "built up" and the "China Inland Mission" was founded.
The couple returned to China and at the age of just 33, Maria died of cholera leaving her husband with 4 little children. This was a huge loss because Hudson's wife was such a confidant and help in his ministry. Several years later, Hudson remarried Jennie Faulding who cared for him through illness and injury.
Repeatedly, this man of God found that his God was enough to supply all his needs and as a friend commented to Hudson, "Oh, how I wish I had your faith in God." Upon his death, James Hudson Taylor's work included the establishment of 205 mission stations with over 800 missionaries and 125,000 Chinese Christians. Much of the work for Jesus in China was started by this warrior for God.
But we must never forget, Hudson Taylor's life was battered and bruised with difficulties that would make the strongest run for cover. He was not immune to pain and loss. And most of his life his own personal health plagued him with weakness and disease.
Instead of murmuring and asking God to return him to "Egypt" he kept moving forward everyday, led by a God who never fails.
I began our "Inspiration" with a quote by Hudson Taylor: "There are three stages in the work of God: Impossible; Difficult; Done."
The children of Israel ran into the IMPOSSIBLE when on the banks of the Red Sea they turned around and saw a huge cloud of dust as the chariots of Pharaoh were headed in their direction. Boxed in by the devil and the deep Red Sea, they had no where to go. Impossible is the operative word! And even if there were a way of escape it would be DIFFICULT. So they started howling, "Take us back to Egypt. We'd rather die there!"
What did God do? Did He leave them in their miserable state? Absolutely not! For God already had a plan that would get His purpose DONE!
How about your life and mine? Is the IMPOSSIBLE looming in front of you? I love the words of Helmut Thielicke, "With mortals it is impossible, God knows, it is impossible. But with God all things are possible." Never ever forget who is leading you. It's not Moses – it is the King of the universe. And when you hit a difficult place in your life, as we all have, never forget how our Almighty Leader uses these trying situations to bring out the refreshing beauty in our lives. As writer Oliver Goldsmith so wonderfully penned:
"As aromatic plants bestow
No spicy fragrance while they grow;
But crushed or trodden to the ground,
Diffuse their balmy sweets around."
When Jesus was breathing His last, nailed to a wooden cross, suffering the weight of a sin-infected world, He said, "It is finished" (John 19: 30). In Greek the word finished means "complete – filled-up." Jesus' work was done! And I need to daily remind myself that God's ultimate work in my life and completion of His goal is that when He is finished with me, done with the transformation, I will be "whole and complete." And garden friends, if this means we face the army of Pharaoh on one side and the Red Sea on the other, may each of us never forget who is in charge and leading us and that in the end, He wants to make us completely whole again! PRAISE GOD!
All our difficulties are only platforms for the manifestation of God's grace, power and love."
"God Our Father,
God our Mother,
River of Mercy,
Source of Life,
in whom we live
and have our being,
who quenches our thirst,
refreshes our weariness,
be for us always
a fountain of life,
and for all the world
a river of hope
springing up in the midst
of the deserts of despair.
Miriam Therese Winter
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus