Hudson Taylor's Thoughts
I looked scrawny as a kid. I seemed to be a magnet for sick bugs. Unfortunately being sick didn't get me out of school.
My mother home-schooled me in the backroom of father's pharmacy business. We studied grammar, (mother made us correct all mistakes), reading, French, Latin, Bible, and math.
School wasn't too bad, I guess. Sometimes we went on field trips to study bugs, birds, and flowers. Well, I did try regular school for two years. It didn't work out well.
I helped Dad with his pharmacy work. Taking care of medicines was a big responsibility. If I put the wrong medicine in a package, or miscounted, or made some other mistake, the patient could become more sick. I worked hard to do my job correctly.
One of my favorite memories was Dad taking the time to pray with us. He'd call us together each night and spend this special prayer time with us.
Like my great grandparents, Dad and Mom loved to have lots of people over. Preachers and Bible study friends came nearly everyday to discuss the Lord's work including missions in other countries. I didn't know why they talked about China all the time but they did.
When I turned fifteen, Dad suggested I get more training to help him in his business. A job opened up for a junior clerk at a bank. I could learn how to set up and take care of the patient's accounts, write letters, and help where needed.
I thought it would be fun to be on my own. I learned the job quickly. My new coworkers took their paychecks and bought all kinds of great stuff. They didn't believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior and it showed. I had never been around people who swore all the time, as if swearing words should be used as regular words. Many of my new coworkers said they were Christians, yet they joined in the wild stories and swearing.
I hadn't study my Bible enough to know what to say to them. After a while, the things they said wrong about God and Jesus seemed right to me. The more I listened, the more I agreed with my new friends.
I couldn't tell right from wrong.
I decided I needed to do good things to make up for whatever I did wrong. Lots of good deeds should impress God and make me a Christian, right? It didn't work. Almost every task I tried failed. I didn't feel like a Christian and all I ever did was make wrong choices.
That's when I decided I wasn't good enough to be a Christian. The only choice left for me would be to do what my co-workers did: go to parties, buy lots of things, and talk mean about Christians.
I made a lot of bad choices then...
And that is when God stepped in to help me. He let me have a terrible eye infection which prevented me from doing my work. I had to leave the job and my co-workers.
Dad let me work with him in his pharmacy again. I didn't feel happy. Some days I just didn't want to go to work. I'd remember the things my coworkers said, and then a Bible verse. I was so confused. Dad didn't know how my coworkers acted at my last job. He became angry with me for my bad attitude.
In truth, I didn't know how to fix the problem.
I learned later, I couldn't fix the problem. Only God could. Once again, God stepped in to help me. Come back next week to read what God did for me.
J. Hudson Taylor
What questions do you have?
Photo courtesy of visualbiblealive.com
Research resources: J. Hudson Taylor, An Autobiography by J. Hudson Taylor; It is Not Death to Die, a new biography of Hudson Taylor by Jim Cromarty; Hudson Taylor Founder, China Inland Mission by Vance Christie; J. Hudson Taylor, A Man in Christ, by Roger Steer, and Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret by dr. & Mrs. Howard Taylor.