"Man's Extremity is God's Opportunity". Written by a 23 year old Hudson Taylor, to his mother.
The circumstance behind this quote are as follows. Hudson had been living in a house with some other missionaries in Shanghai and the others were getting ready to move to a different location. Hudson could not stay there on his own, so he needed to find other housing. He had prayed to God repeatedly for wisdom and guidance and started off to search for 3 WEEKS.
3 weeks of searching and nothing could be found that he could afford in a location anywhere in the city. The hot summer days were taking their toll on this young, but very mature, missionary, but he was trusting that God would make available the place He wanted.
This was the same time as he was wrestling with whether of not he should keep his European style clothes. Friday- the move out day for the others- was fast approaching and yet there was no place to be found. He decided on Thursday to go to the barber, shave his head and dye the remaining hair black, add a pony tail and put on his Chinese clothes. That night, after 3 weeks of searching, a man approached him and said that he had heard Hudson was looking for a place to stay and that he had a house, not yet complete-which meant it was new- and that it had 4 rooms and an additional room for servants across the court yard. The price he was asking was well within Hudson's budget and so he looked at it and rented it.
By the time God was finished with him, he did not even have to go looking for the house, God brought the owner to him. God expects us to move forward with the things we understand He is directing us to do, but we must wait for Him to open and close the doors around us. Easy to write, harder to do. But God is faithful to provide, especially when there is no way we could provide on our own. "Our extremity is His Opportunity".
Hopefully this finds you when you need the encouragement this brought to me yesterday on what seemed to be a "useless trip" to Spokane. In God's economy there are no useless trips. He uses everything for our good, even 3 weeks of looking for a place to stay, when all along He knew He was bringing the man right to Hudson. Those are the kind of things that grow a soul.