Interruptions, Delays, Inconveniences

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 Daily devotions for 11-02-2006:

Title: Interruptions, Delays, Inconveniences
Author: Elisabeth Elliot

Book: Keep A Quiet Heart
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Title: Interruptions, Delays, Inconveniences

Emily, wife of America's first foreign
missionary, Adoniram Judson, wrote home from
Moulmein, Burma, in January 1847:

"This taking care of teething babies, and
teaching natives to darn stockings and talking
English back end foremost . . . in order to get
an eatable dinner, is really a very odd sort of
business for Fanny Forester [her pen name--she
was a well-known New England writer before
marrying Judson].... But I begin to get
reconciled to my minute cares." She was ambitious
for "higher and better things," but was enabled
to learn that "the person who would do great
things well must practice daily on little ones;
and she who would have the assistance of the
Almighty in important acts, must be daily and
hourly accustomed to consult His will in the
minor affairs of life."

About eighty years ago, when James 0. Fraser was
working as a solitary missionary in Tengyueh,
southwest China, his situation was, "in every
sense, 'against the grain.'" He did not enjoy
housekeeping and looking after premises. He found
the houseboy irritable and touchy, constantly
quarreling with the cook. Endless small items of
business cluttered up the time he wanted for
language study, and he was having to learn to be
"perpetually inconvenienced" for the sake of the
gospel. He wrote after some weeks alone:

"I am finding out that it is a mistake to plan to
get through a certain amount of work in a certain
time. It ends in disappointment, besides not
being the right way to go about it, in my
judgment. It makes one impatient of interruptions
and delay. Just as you are nearly
finishing--somebody comes along to sit with you
and have a chat! You might hardly think it
possible to be impatient and put out where there
is such an opportunity for presenting the
Gospel--but it is. It may be just on mealtime, or
you are writing a letter to catch the mail, or
you were just going out for needed exercise
before tea. But the visitor has to be welcomed,
and I think it is well to cultivate an attitude
of mind which will enable one to welcome him from
the heart and at any time. 'No admittance except
on business' scarcely shows a true missionary

There is nothing like the biographies of great
Christians to give us perspective and help us to
keep spiritual balance. These two are well worth
reading. It was J.O. Fraser who so inspired my
husband Jim Elliot with missionary vision that
Jim planned to name his first son after him.

One more quotation--this from an out-of-print
book, The Life and Letters of Janet Erskine
Stuart. Says one who was her assistant for some
years, "She delighted in seeing her plan upset by
unexpected events, saying that it gave her great
comfort, and that she looked on such things as an
assurance that God was watching over her
stewardship, was securing the accomplishment of
His will, and working out His own designs.
Whether she traced the secondary causes to the
prayer of a child, to the imperfection of an
individual, to obstacles arising from
misunderstandings, or to interference of outside
agencies, she was joyfully and graciously ready
to recognize the indication of God's ruling hand,
and to allow herself to be guided by it."

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