This year we've been introduced to the Christian Heroes Series through our curriculum. Wow! What a great gift! These books are written for kids, but are sure to teach the grown-up who is reading them as well!! Accounts of God's faithfulness to those who spend their lives serving Him, trusting Him, worshipping Him. We are hooked and can't wait to read another one!
We started things off with George Muller.
Out of the many many (many) lessons packed into this little paperback, two stand out....
George's understanding that a life of prayer is work.
How often do I say "I'll pray about it" or "I'll pray for you" and mean it - like truly, intercessory, fully-committed mean it? To enter into true intercession requires letting go of our best laid plans, and investing time listening and waiting for God's response to any given situation. And sometimes we have to be willing to persevere and wait a while! In one situation, George and Mary needed to leave the orphanages in someone else's care while traveling back to Prussia. For George, timing was of utmost importance. He prayed and waited - not until the cheapest travel tickets became available, or things were most convenient for their own family -- but because he wanted to make sure there was sufficient funds in the treasury so that those running the orphanages in his absence would not need to engage in the prayer-work of relying on God daily for the needs of the orphans as George so often had to do. He prayed until the bread or milk came, until the money arrived, until the home was provided, or the way through a particular situation was clear. After receiving the first donation towards the second 400-child orphanage, these were George's reflections on prayer: "The greatness of the sum required affords me a kind of great joy; for the greater the difficulty to be overcome, the more will it be seen to the glory of God how much can be done by prayer and faith" (p. 158).
When George and Mary first get married, George is perplexed by the "earthly goods" Mary brings into the matrimonial picture. Which really amounted to a few family heirlooms and the family silverware collection. Not a big deal, by most of our standards, though he is concerned because he sees it as extra baggage to move when God calls them to the next mission field; as unnecessary ties to this world. What does he do? He asks Mary to sell it. "Mary opened her mouth, then closed it without saying a single word. The next evening when George came home, the silverware, china, and tapestries were all gone." (p. 78).
Meekness is not weakness, I keep hearing over and over in my heart. Mary could've pitched quite a fit (I shudder to think of what my reaction would've been if Jon would've said the same thing to me one week after our wedding vows were said!!). Instead, she honored her husband's request, and in the end, I believe the LORD blessed her immensely for her commitment and support. As the reader we get a peek into George's thoughts and journal entries. I wonder, though, what Mary's journal entries may have been like! It must have been quite the interesting adventure; George's bold personality seems so different from her own. Here she thought she was marrying a "missionary man," and ended up with orphanages that housed over 1,000 kids at a time!!! Yet through it all, she demonstrates a meekness that is strength and courage. And she is teaching me ;).
A sold-out life for Jesus is not for the faint of heart!! It is a daring, wild adventure of learning to listen to the voice of the One Who created all and makes all things new and following His lead in obedience.
George, and his lovely wife Mary, have inspired me!