I was talking to my dad yesterday- he's 75- about how encouraged/convicted I have been while reading the Hudson Taylor bio.
He has read the 2 volume set I have, "Growth of a Soul" is the first. We talked about Hudson and about where I am in the book and then I said that it doesn't seem like there are many of those kinds of people around now. What happened to the men who have stood out in history like those missionaries from the 1820-1920? Why was there so many very high peaks in the human landscape through that century and why is the landscape so much flatter now?
Why did God bless these men with such amazing ministry success? Is that possibility gone from this earth? What made men like this so special that God chose to bless their ministry so greatly?
I am not God and His ways are not my ways; His thoughts are not my thoughts, but as I read about Hudson Taylor the first thing that comes to my mind is that he didn't care what happened to him personally, his aim was to be where God wanted him to be, doing what God wanted him to do and it didn't matter if he was comfortable or not. He truly left all for Christ for a greater reward.
We have a great cloud of witnesses before us as examples of what that looks like, but I have bought into the lie that I should be comfortable in my ministering. It seems especially hard, in America, to live out the idea that this life is not our own. How can we be spent/poured out for God when we only have a few drops left when we are finished. How are we going to be used to extinguish the fires of hell in the lives of those around us when we have but a few drops left at the end of each day?
I want to be used by God in whatever and wherever He wants to use me, but I have already spent a good portion-yet to be determined in a percentage- of my life on my own comforts and pleasures. My desire is to give the Lord the balance, but for those much younger than I, there is still the opportunity to be a high peak, sticking out of the cloud of humanity, but this requires not looking to be comfortable in this life.
How awesome would it be if the next Hudson Taylor were in our SS class or in or youth ministry, or attending seminary next year? We have to encourage them to look past the pleasures of this life and to live on unseen things- a greater reward in the next life, rather than to live for the weekend.
Pray for those who might answer the call and resolutely run to win the real prize, forgetting what is behind, throwing off every encumbrance and then run with endurance. Pray that we "old" people would help them to see what could be if they would allow God to do His work without restriction.
The stories in the Bible and the biographies are for our encouragement. We can be used by God in a mighty way, but we must be willing to leave all behind to follow Him and not put up any "off limits" signs for Him.