God faithfully takes care of His work
“But my God shall abundantly supply all your need according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)
God is in control! This is a truth that we should remember when it seems that things are getting out of control. God has a way - and His way is perfect!
The following story happened in China more than a hundred years ago.
One of the hardest words a missionary can get from his Home Board is the word "retrench." My husband and I were on one of our evangelistic tours north of Changte. Every door seemed wide open before us, and the time ripe for a specially aggressive campaign of evangelism for the heathen. But, just as we were planning for this, word reached us from our station treasurer of a message received from the Home Board that funds were low, and retrenchment must be carried out along all lines.
To us this meant dismissing helpers, and a general curtailing of our work. We faced the question squarely. Our own tithe had been long overdrawn. How then could we support the men we had, and go on with the work which was opening so gloriously before us after years of hard pioneer preparation?
But we decided to go on as we had planned, and to trust God for the necessary funds; believing that, though for the time being the home church had disappointed us, God would not fail us.
The following Friday a home mail reached us, in which was a letter from a lady in New Zealand. The writer said she had read a letter of ours in The Life of Faith, and wished to support an evangelist under us. This relieved us of the support of one man, but there were many other needs as yet unmet.
The following Monday, when our next mail was forwarded to us, a letter came from a lady in Australia, enclosing a draft ample to meet every special need in the work for a year to come. She stated very plainly that she did not wish the money put into the general funds of the mission, but to be used by ourselves in any way we thought best. Indeed, had she known the special circumstances in which the letter would find us, she could scarcely have written more exactly to fit our case.
Again, a year after this experience of God's faithfulness to meet all our needs, we began to feel the need of special funds for the work. My husband, as usual, seemed quite sure that we should keep on as we had been doing, and that the money needed would be sent. In spite of all the blessed lessons of the past, my faith seemed to fail me; and I spoke decidedly against using our salary, when we needed it all for ourselves and our children's education. We were traveling homeward by cart at the time and the matter was dropped; though I felt my husband was hurt by my lack of faith.
When we reached home, that evening, a letter from a lady in Canada was awaiting my husband. He read it first; and I cannot forget the look on his face as he handed it to me, with the words "I told you so".
As near as I can recall it the letter said: "My mother and I are strangers to you, never having seen or heard either you or your wife. But my mother, who is an invalid, has for some time been restless because of a conviction that has come over her that she should send you some money. So to quiet my mother I am sending you fifty dollars."
As I read the letter, I certainly did feel ashamed of my lack of faith. In writing our acknowledgment, I told how wonderfully opportune the gift had been. A couple of months or so later came a reply, telling us that the invalid mother passed away soon after my letter reached them; and that the story of how God had used her in this matter greatly strengthened her faith, blessing and helping her during the closing days of her life.
„Ask me of the things to come; concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands, command ye me“ (Isa 45:11).