William Carey, who is called the father of modern missions, began his missionary career to India in 1793. He served the Lord in that country for 40 years, never once returning to his home in England. And throughout those years he translated portions of the Bible into over a dozen Indian languages.
But one afternoon, after 20 years of hard labor, a fire raged throughout his printing plant and warehouse. All of his printing equipment was destroyed and most of his precious manuscripts. Obviously, in that day there were no computer back-up copies or even photocopies kept somewhere else. Tragically, 20 years of non-stop labor was gone within a few hours.
Many people would have been devastated over the loss, but not William Carey. This is what he wrote to his pastor friend, Andrew Murray, in England:
"The ground must be labored over again, but we are not discouraged. We have all been supported under the affliction, and preserved from discouragement. To me the consideration of the divine sovereignty and wisdom has been very supporting." Then he quoted from Psalm 46:10, where the Lord Himself says, "Be still and know that I am God." (Bill Mills and Craig Parro, Finishing Well in Life and Ministry, Leadership Resources International, pp. 101-102)
Carey found peace and strength in God’s sovereign plan for his own life, even if it included times of devastating loss. & We can find the same thing if we return to the Lord. We don’t find exemption from sorrow, just supernatural strength to face it with hope and joy.
(From a sermon by C. Philip Green, Back to Bethel, 4/13/2011)
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