Monday, 3 February 2014
A Story of Faithfulness
I like telling stories. I especially like telling ones that are true (I'm not so good at the made up ones). I like reading stories too, and last week I read the story of George Muller.
Originally from Germany (or 'Prussia'), George Muller set up an orphanage for tens of thousands of children in Bristol without ever doing any silly marathons, skydives or mountain climbs for fundraising. He never once asked anyone for any money, and yet he had none himself. This man believed in a God who was faithful. He took what his God promised to be true and built his life, and the lives of those in his care, on those promises. He believed in a God who answered his prayers. And so, instead of setting up a Justgiving page, he prayed. He prayed for every single need. He prayed for shoes for the children, for bread for breakfast, for beds for them to sleep in and for staff who would be happy not to accept any salary. He never took a salary for himself.
And every single prayer was answered. Every single prayer. For more than sixty years.
I related to his story in so many ways. I understood his compulsion to 'do something' for the children in so much need, despite the fact that he didn't have much to give. I celebrated his simple obedience to God. I was inspired by the small stories of food arriving just in time for breakfast. I felt excited that this normal man could achieve so much just by believing in a God who was so much bigger than we sometimes expect. And his faith was truly astonishing.
And it became part of our story too. Ten days ago we were wondering if we had made some rash decisions. Money was more than tight. A trip to India was looking like a foolish thought when we didn't even have enough to pay the mortgage. So, in true Muller style, we prayed. Oh boy, did we pray?! "Come on God,' we pleaded, 'you've got to show us you are with us in this.'
A week ago, an envelope plopped onto our doormat containing £500. Weeping with joy and thanksgiving, we were amazed.
But there was more to come.
Three days ago, another envelope was pushed through our letterbox. Max ran to the door and opened it. £400. He slid down onto the floor, thanking his God.
But there was more.
Two days ago Jonah woke us up in the morning telling us he'd heard a funny noise downstairs. Yep, you've guessed it! Another envelope. £100. We sat on our bed and thanked our God.
But there was more.
Just yesterday we were given another envelope whilst meeting with our church. £200. Coming home in the dark, we opened the front door to discover another one! £200.
Overwhelmed by generosity and overflowing with thankfulness we have learnt one enormous lesson this week.
"So do not worry, saying 'what shall we eat?' Or ' what shall we wear?'.... Your father in heaven knows that that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. "
Great is His faithfulness.