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Learning to Rest

“Bear not a single care thyself,
   One is too much for thee;
The work is Mine, and Mine alone;
   Thy work—to rest in Me.”

Hudson Taylor (1832-1905) was one of the most widely used missionaries in China’s history. Inland China opened to the Gospel largely as an outcome of his life. During his 51 years of service there, his China Inland Mission established 20 mission stations and brought 849 missionaries to the field who depended upon God for the supply of all their needs without promise of salary. Over 700 Chinese workers were trained, four million dollars were raised by faith, and a witnessing Chinese church of 125,000 was developed. It has been said at least 35,000 were his own converts and that he baptized some 50,000.

As a young man, Hudson’s heart was burdened for China. In that great, waiting land, a million souls a month were dying—dying without God and without hope into eternity. This was burned into his soul. A decision had to be made and he knew it, for the conflict could no longer be endured.

Entering the mission field, Hudson Taylor dealt with difficulties, inward and outward, great and small, but in them all joy flowed unhindered from the presence of the Lord Himself. He learned that, for him, only one life was possible—just that blessed life of resting and rejoicing in the Lord under all circumstances. Listen as he describes how he came to find rest in the promises of God:

“In great spiritual agony, I wandered out on the sands alone. And there the Lord conquered my unbelief, and I surrendered myself to God for this service. I told Him that all the responsibility as to the issues and consequences must rest with Him. As His servant, my part was to obey and to follow Him, while His was to direct, care for and guide me and those who might labor with me. At once peace flowed into my burdened heart.

“If God should place me in great perplexity, must He not give me much guidance? Or if He put me in positions of great difficulty, must He not give me much grace? Or in circumstances of great pressure and trial, much strength? His resources are mine—for He is mine, and is with me and dwells in me.

“I am no longer anxious about anything, as I realize this—He, I know, is able to carry out His will, and His will is mine. It makes no matter where He places me, or how. That is rather for Him to consider than for me. In the easiest position He must give me His grace, and in the most difficult circumstance His grace is sufficient. No matter how intricate my path, how difficult my service, how sad my bereavement, how far away my loved ones, how helpless I am, how deep are my soul-yearnings—Jesus can more than meet them all.

“The sweetest part is the rest which full identification with Christ brings. To let my loving Savior work in me His will, my sanctification, is what I would live for by His grace. Abiding, not striving nor struggling. Looking off unto Him, trusting Him for present power. Resting in the love of an almighty Savior, in the joy of a complete salvation. Christ lives in me, and ‘The life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me’ (Galatians 2:20).”

—Adapted from Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret