From the Notes of J. Hudson Taylor
My servant, the one who left Shanghai with me and later disappeared, never showed. After asking several people on my way back to Shanghai, I learned that my servant had stolen the last of my belongings and ran away.
Each person I asked urged me to press charges against my servant. "Have him arrested, thrown in jail."
My stomach churned. It didn't seem like the right thing to do to me. The man's soul was worth far more than the return of my few possessions. Once convicted, the prison guards and other prisoners would beat him.
I chose, instead, to send him a letter. Perhaps my words would stir his conscience.
I wrote: "At first I made up my mind to report you to the police. You know the severe punishment you could have received. But a verse from the the very Bible you helped me carry came to my mind. "Return good for evil." Because of this verse I have not told the police. You, my dear servant, will be the one who suffers for stealing my belongings. There is a greater punishment from God for those who steal. I freely forgive you and urge you to repent of your crime and return my possessions. I will teach you about God's love."
Upon my return to Shanghai, I stopped by the post office hoping there would be mail for me, preferably money. I didn't have anything left after giving the last of my funds to mail boat captain to pay for my passage. Neither did I have a place to stay or any belongings.
I'm not exactly sure why I didn't feel sorry for myself or get angry or run around begging for help. I just stood in line and prayed for God to help me. Maybe He would whisper something about my situation to the heart of someone back home. Someone who would send money for my support.
When my turn came, the postal worker recognized me. He reached back to the counter and picked up two envelopes. "Here you are Mr. Taylor."
I held my envelopes like a treasured possession and stepped out of the way. Once I found a private corner I ripped open the envelope hoping to discover a miraculous provision from God. Inside I found a letter from my faithful giver, Mr. Berger. I looked back inside the envelope and found forty English pounds! Forty! Praise God. This money would buy new medical supplies.
I ripped open the second envelope. This one came from George Mueller. He sent an encouraging letter and a commitment to help support my missionary work in the future. I checked the envelope again and found forty English pounds. Forty more! This alone more than compensated me for the stolen furniture and my other possessions.
Both these gentlemen sent the money well before the thieves had stolen my belongings. And God enabled the funds to arrive on the very day I needed them. These envelopes truly delivered money from heaven.
My next plan is to wait a week or so for the waters to rise in the river and try to sail again. This time there should be enough water to sail all the way to Ningbo where my missionary friend, Dr. Parker lives.
I feel . . . so blessed.
J. Hudson Taylor
Missionary to China
Blessed by God
Do you have any questions?
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.