Thoughts from J. Hudson Taylor
Last time I visited, I wrote about God's gift of a gold coin. The story did not end there.
The good doctor still forgot to pay me.
I used the coin to buy only what food I needed that week. My stomach never felt full, in fact, it growled many times. If I only had to care for myself, I could have waited a longer time to be paid. But I needed to give the landlady rent. She needed to buy food and pay her bills as well.
Doubts popped into my head. Should I remind to good doctor to pay me? Would that show a complete trust in God to take care of my needs? The answer was clear. No. Wait on the Lord.
Every spare moment I had that Thursday and Friday I knelt and prayed, asking God to remind the kind doctor to pay me. I went to work, choosing not to say anything about the money to him.
Saturday evening I stood at the stove, mixing and heating a medicine that needed constant care. We had both worked hard that day. The doctor plopped down in his chair and let his head flop back. "Mmm, this feels good to relax." His arms fell on the rest and he closed his eyes.
I kept stirring the mixture, watching the color and thickness. The only sounds in the room came from my pan. It seemed the good doctor fell asleep. I happened to turn at the same instant he popped forward on his chair. It surprised me and nearly caused me to drop the spoon in the mixture.
"Hudson, don't I owe you pay?"
God answered! I didn't want the smile to jump on my face but I couldn't stop it. Tonight, yes, tonight the money for rent and food will be in my hand. "Yes, Doctor, the pay is over due." I answered without facing him. I didn't want him to feel bad.
He leaned back in his chair. "I'm sorry, Hudson. I wish you had reminded me sooner."
My stomach growled.
He shook his head. "I sent all the moneys received from the patients to the bank today. I don't have anything to give you." author's note: people could not get their money out of the bank as easily back in Hudson's time.
I didn't know what to say. Anger bubbled in my head. It wasn't the good doctor's fault. It wasn't God's. It wasn't mine. Still, I just didn't know what to do. Fortunately the mixture I stirred needed to be removed from the heat. I took it into the next room and huffed.
The doctor went home for supper a few minutes later. I cleaned up the office then fell to my knees and prayed. "God, You are the Provider. All this has happened to show me You will take care of me in Your time." My stomach growled again and a picture of my landlady came to mind. "Lord, please find a way for the good doctor to give me my pay."
I stayed for a few hours praying for God's help, then stood to turn off the light and go home. By leaving this late, I could let myself into my apartment and not bother the landlady. As I stepped out the office I heard someone laughed in the courtyard. The good doctor. Why did he come back to the office?
"Hudson, be a good assistant and fetch my ledger. One of our wealthy patients stopped by my house to pay his bill. The man paid in cash! Imagine him stopping by at this hour."
I brought him the ledger and recorded the patient's payment. The doctor opened his safe and set some of the money inside. He handed the rest to me. "Here, I don't have change for you, but take this for your pay. I'll give you the rest next week."
My jaw fell open. I looked at the money in my hand and then at the good doctor. "Thank you. Thank you."
I took a deep breath and sighed.
God, the Great Provider, took care of me. And if He chose to take care of me here, in London, He would take care of me in China. I felt one step closer to becoming a missionary in China.
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.