Inspiring Story: Are You Willing?
Last week, I shared Gladys Aylward's story. This week, I'd like to focus on her quote: "...But God looked down and saw Gladys Aylward and said, 'She's willing." This reminded me... there was once a preacher who was attending a Kathryn Kuhlman meeting. As he sat there observing the meeting, he asked the Lord, "God, why do you use her?" In response, God spoke to him and said, "Tell that couple that they're living in adultery." The man argued with God; he just couldn't do it. As he was debating it in his mind, Kathryn Kuhlman said, "There's someone living in adultery..." God then spoke to the preacher and said, "That's why I use her." She was willing and she obeyed. That is what today's featured Inspiring Story is about: Obedience. This story is from the book To China and Back by Anthony G. Bollback (pages 109-110). Anthony had started a rooftop chapel in Hong Konk, called Simpson Chapel and Primary school. This was in response to the millions of refugees who had been displaced due to Communism. There was a chapel on the roof of the building which also doubled as a school, and the refugees lived in cubicles inside the building. Gideon Wong, a Chinese pastor, encouraged Anthony to start another such church. One day, while construction was still in progress, something amazing occured.
Gideon moved his family into one of the rooms [of the Virtue Primary School and Chapel] so that he could be near the people he served. As he walked back and forth to the rooftop where work on our structure was in progress, he noticed a man in one cubicle who was always on his bunk. One day he stopped to greet him, but was given a curt reply. Some time later the Lord spoke to Gideon again and said, "Give your milk to the man on the bed." He brushed the thought aside at first, remembering that the man had made him feel unwelcome each time he greeted him. But the thought persisited and he realized that God was nudging him. He went to the man's room, stepped inside his door and said, "Here is a bottle of milk for you. I hope you will feel better soon." With that, he hastily went on his way. The next day as Gideon passed the room, the man called to him. It didn't take long for Mr. Yang to introduce himself and apologize for his behavior. "I realized yesterday when you gave me the milk that I had been very unkind to you. Please forgive me." That opened the door to a long conversation, and Gideon shared the good news of Jesus and His power to heal. Mr. Yang said that for many months he had been confined to his bed. He had even been carried to this new home and was very discouraged with his helpless condition. Gideon prayed for Mr. Yang to understand the gospel message and to receive Christ into his life. One day Gideon reported that Mr. Yang had done something he had not done for many months -- he had walked. Mr. Yang testified later that he had said to himself, "If this Jesus is God and alive as Pastor Wong has been telling me, and if the Bible the pastor gave me is true, then maybe He will hear me, too." Then he added, "And if God helps me walk again, then I will become a Christian." With that motivation, he struggled to sit up on the edge of his bed and then to pull himself to his feet. Strange sensations coursed through his legs. He inched forward to a nearby table. Each struggling step brought new strength as he propelled himself to the doorway. Now he was consumed with the desire to climb the stairs to the new chapel to see Pastor Wong. Slowly and unsteadily at first, he made it to the stairs and started up from his fifth-floor room to the roof. It was an agonizing process, but the joy welling up in his heart encouraged him to go on. Finally nearing the top, he called loudly, "Pastor Wong, Pastor Wong! Look! I'm walking!" A short while later, among the wood shavings, Pastor Wong led Mr. Yang to Christ. At the dedication of the building, Mr. Yang walked to the platform and gave a vibrant testimony of God's saving and healing power.What would have happened if Gideon had not obeyed the voice of the Lord, telling him to be kind to Mr. Yang? It would have cost Mr. Yang's eternal soul; he never would have been saved if it wasn't for Gideon's obedience to the voice of the Lord. So, are you willing AND obedient? What does God say when He looks at you? Does he say, "This one is willing," knowing that you will obey Him even in circumstances that seem unpleasant?