Monday, May 5, 2008

Finishing a Book Feels Good...

I finished reading Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret last week, and it feels like such an accomplishment. It's funny how simple things like reading a book can make you feel good. I chose this biography of Hudson Taylor because it told the story of his obedience to our Lord Jesus to go and tell the Gospel to the Chinese people. It seems we are both drawn to anything that might give us greater understanding of the country where Abigail waits for us to bring her home. As I read of Taylor's interactions with the Chinese people, I often thought of her birth family. Our prayer is not only for Abigail to come home for Thanksgiving, but for her birth parents to know the gracious love of God. I cannot imagine having to abandon a much greater the pain of that loss will be without the loving arms of a Savior to bring comfort and restoration.

I learned what an amazing faith-filled relationship that he had with the Lord. His story was such an encouragement - describing the sovereignty of God in so many circumstance. The lessons from his prayer life were enormous. There were times that hope seemed lost and a situation impossible, but he never gave up making his requests to heaven. Over and over God moved His hand and the miraculous occurred. All was definitely not perfect, and there were many sad and disappointing turns - yet through each moment the pages were filled with the story of a brother in Christ that truly learned to Abide in Him. I love this closing quote that the book ends with from Taylor himself:

"There is a needs-be for us to give ourselves for the life of the world. An easy, non-self-denying life will never be one of power. Fruit-bearing involves cross-bearing. There are not two Christs-an easy-going one for easy-going Christians, and a suffering, toiling one for exceptional believers. There is only one Christ. Are you willing to abide in Him, and thus bear much fruit?"