Inspiring Story: He is Faithful that Promised
Today, I'd like to share a small portion of Gladys Aylward's story. For those of you who may not have heard of her, here is a little background (from the back cover of the book Gladys Aylward: The Adventure of a Lifetime), before we begin: "As improbable as it seemed, Gladys Aylward was certain God had called her to China as a missionary. But now, at age twenty-seven, she was being dismissed from missionary school for failing her Bible class. Without formal education or a missionary organization to back her, Gladys raised her own finances for the overland trip that would bring her to the country and people that God had etched so deeply on her heart... China!" Our story begins after Gladys had applied for a job as a housemaid in hopes of raising some money for the trip to China. She had already used up most of her money by paying her way to the home where she was to serve as housemaid.
Gladys lifted her cardboard suitcase onto the bed. Inside it was everything she owned. She pulled out her black leather-bound Bible and placed it carefully on the chair beside her bed. Next she reached into her purse and took out all the money she had left after getting to Belgravia. She didn't need to count it; she knew exactly how much she had. ... two and a half pennies left. She laid them in a row on top of her Bible. A sense of hopelessness came over her. What was the use of trying to save enough money to get to China when traveling across London had taken nearly all the money she had? Then Gladys thought about why she wanted to go to China. She was certain it was where God wanted her to live and work, and if that was where He wanted her, surely He would help her get the money she needed to get there. She placed her hands over the money and in a loud voice prayed, "Here is my Bible. Here is all the money I have. Here is me. Find some way to use me, God!" As she prayed, the door creaked open, and another maid peered into her room. Gladys knew that the maid must have heard her prayer, but she didn't care; she had meant every word she prayed. "Excuse me," began the maid, "but the mistress wants to see you in the drawing room." ... Lady Annabel smiled at her. "How much did the train fare to get here cost you?" she asked Gladys kindly. "Two shillings and nine pence, ma'am," Gladys replied, wondering why the woman was asking such a question. "Here you are," Lady Annabel said, reaching into her purse. "Take three shillings. I always pay the fine of my maids when I hire them." Gladys could hardly believe it. No one had ever before offered to pay her train fare to get to a new job. She thanked Lady Annabel and bounded back up the stairs to her room. She put the three shillings next to the two and a half pennies. A big smile lit up her face. In the ten minutes since praying her prayer, her money had increased fifteen times!After this incident, Gladys Aylward had to endure so much before she ever reached China, and even there, she went through much testing of her faith. Yet she never gave up. God had placed a dream, a mission, in her heart, and she would not look back. As a result, God used her to touch the lives of many people in China. Let us never forget that when God places a dream in our hearts, He is well able to perform it, no matter how obstinate the circumstances may seem. However, there is a condition: It is only IF we continue to trust Him, that God is able to work. Hebrews 10:23 states, "Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for He is faithful that promised...)." Let us all learn a lesson from Gladys and all the others who have staked their lives on Him, no matter what the cost: They courageously did whatever it took to reach the fulfillment of the dreams that God had given them, letting nothing stop them. Their trust was truly in the Lord; if He had called them to do something, He would provide the means. "Now to Him who able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we could as or think, according to the power which works in us, to Him be the glory now and forever. Amen" (Ephesians 3:20-21).
“I wasn’t God’s first choice for what I’ve done for China…I don’t know who it was…It must have been a man…a well-educated man. I don’t know what happened. Perhaps he died. Perhaps he wasn’t willing…and God looked down…and saw Gladys Aylward…And God said – “Well, she’s willing.” ~Gladys Aylward
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