Every now and then, I get asked to speak for some youth event or something of the sort. I often speak on the very things I struggle with the most, like faith. Recently I read a book about George Muller, a great man of remarkable faith. George Muller; The Guardian of Bristol's Orphans. An amazing book--you could easily read it in a day, and everyone should.
George Muller, amongst the multitude of wonderful things he did, started the first orphanage of Bristol, England back in the 1800s. Starting an orphanage, though amazing in itself, may not be the most amazing thing in the world. Starting it with the trust and expectation that God would provide everything--EVERYTHING--for such a ministry is. George Muller was also a pastor, and though he truly desired to provide for the great need of countless homeless and needy orphans in Bristol, his main desire for beginning the orphanage was as a testament of faith to the members of his church and the community at large. George Muller determined to never ask for one cent in the support of his orphanages. In the sixty or so years of his life after beginning the orphanage, he never once asked for any provision, trusting that God would completely provide.
And he did.
I love this one story. George was in his office going over some business with one of his assistants. The daughter of friend and assistant, John Townsend was playing out in the garden below. George watched the then eight year old Abigail Townsend through his window with a smile; she was like a grand daughter to him. He loved her dearly. There was a knock on the door. It was the matron from Orphan house three. At this point in the orphanage history, there were three orphanages; I believe each had about 300 or more orphans living in their walls. The matron informed George that there was no food in the kitchen. none. It was breakfast time for 300 hungry orphans. George just said. "I'll take care of it."
I can almost picture the excitement and smile on his face, like a child on Christmas day, as he ran down the stairs, out the door and straight to Abigail in the garden.
"Abigail, come with me. Come and see what God will do!"
As they walked into Orphan house 3, George stood before the 300 orphans all quietly and patiently standing before their spots at their tables, empty plates and cups before them. George said, "Good Morning Children, Let us pray. Dear God, we thank you for what you are going to give us to eat. Amen."
The children pulled out their chairs across the wooden floor, and that was when a knock came at the door. The baker. He couldn't sleep the night before feeling as if he was supposed to make bread for the orphans, so he stayed up, and now had fresh bread for everyone.
"God has blessed us through you this morning!"
Then there was the next knock. The milkman. His cart had broken down right in front of the orphanage. The load was to heavy. It would need to be lightened in order to fix the cart. Milk was given, free of charge if they would only help him take it off the cart.
Sometimes God multiplies loaves and fish; other times he breaks down milk carts.
I have always thought that faith is something that I need to muster up; something I really need to work on. But the bible says it is given to us. Eph 2:8 says, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.
Why does it seem that some Christians have a George Muller faith then, while others have...my kind.
The more we walk with God, the more he blesses our faith. The more time we spend with our Father, the more we trust him. George Muller read through his bible over 300 times in his Christian life. He became a Christian in his early 20s and died at 89. Do the math. This man loved God's word, and he was in love with his Lord, his constant provider.
Are we self-sufficient? Independent? In control of our situations? Bummer if we think so; we're missing out on a lot of excitement.