George Müller’s Life Of Trust (Part 3)
God Proves Faithful
Arranged from the book, THE LIFE OF TRUST, by George Müller (1805-1898)
One evening while reading the Scriptures, George Müller was much struck by the Scripture, "Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it" (Psa. 81:10). He applied this to the orphanage he felt led to establish and asked the Lord for premises to rent, for one thousand pounds and for suitable personnel to manage the orphanage. Two days later he received the first shilling toward the orphanage. Workers offered themselves. Friends brought in such things as household articles, furniture and material for clothing and bedding. A suitable house was found to rent. Gifts of money came. But it required eighteen months of daily praying before the full £1,000 came in.
Praise that God would supply was interspersed with prayer, for Mr. Müller felt Mark 11:24 was very important: "What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them."
One sacrificial gift of one hundred pounds came from a very poor sister who was not well in body and able to earn but little. She had come into a modest inheritance. Having used a good portion of the inheritance for family needs, she gave this one hundred pounds for the orphanage. When questioned whether she should give so much, her answer was: "The Lord Jesus has given His last drop of blood for me, and should I not give Him this one hundred pounds?"
Although Mr. Müller had prayed minutely over details involved in establishing the orphanage and needs had been supplied, he had failed to pray for children. When the time came to open the orphanage, not one application had come. He sought the Lord earnestly in prayer about applications and the next day the first one came. The house quickly filled up with children ages four to twelve. After prayer, he felt led to open also a home for infants.
Within a year and a half after the first home opened, a third orphanage home was opened, this one for boys ages seven to twelve. Miraculously a house on the same street as the first two homes became available for this purpose. Mr. Müller now had responsibility for feeding ninety each meal, including the workers. With a "family" of this size, Mr. Müller was much on his knees, giving himself to prayer. He believed God would be "inquired of" (Ezek. 36:37). His wife and a close co-worker or two were the only ones he told of the condition of the funds.
The first years of the orphanage homes there were many financial trials. On one occasion when funds were very low for the orphanage, Mr. Müller called two special prayer meetings from six until nine in the evening. Even then he did not mention the condition of the funds but spoke about the abundance with which God had been meeting needs. While meditating on Hebrews 13:8 – "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for ever" – an envelope was handed him with the necessary funds.
Another day he had not a penny at hand for the orphans, and a lady while in prayer felt led to bring him at once five pounds. This was soon consumed. As the financial trial continued, he wrote: "The Lord in His wisdom and love has not yet sent help. Whence it is to come need not be my care. But I believe God will in due time send help. His hour is not yet come…. This is the most trying hour that as yet I have had in the work as it regards means; but I know that I shall yet praise the Lord for His help…."
Several days later he wrote: "The Lord mercifully has given enough to supply our daily necessities; but He gives by the day now and almost by the hour as we need it…." As the crisis continued he planned to call the staff together and tell them of the need. But at that moment came a lady with a gift, saying she had already delayed too long in bringing it. Some of the workers gave what they could, one selling his watch and another some books.
The Lord kept Mr. Müller in peace despite the severe trial, and he allowed him to be encouraged by seeing fruits of his labors. As a last resort the staff was called together and told of the severe need. It was agreed to buy nothing they could not pay for. Some of the workers gave all they had. Mr. Müller encouraged his heart in the Scriptures, and with the help he received, he cheered the hearts of the workers.
One day they were reduced to the place of planning to sell anything they had on hand they could spare. Before this was necessary a lady came with enough money for the next day’s provision. The lady had been staying next door for several days with the intent of delivering the funds.
Mr. Müller’s reaction to this was: "That the money had been so near the orphan houses for several days without being given, is a plain proof that it was from the beginning in the heart of God to help us; but because He delights in the prayers of His children, He had allowed us to pray so long; also to try our faith, and to make the answer much the sweeter. It is indeed a precious deliverance. I burst out into loud praises and thanks the first moment I was alone after I had received the money…."
One day the funds were completely exhausted. Mr. Müller felt to go for a little walk. While on the way he met a brother who had been looking for him, and he received from the brother the funds that would meet the day’s needs. Had Mr. Müller been thirty seconds later, he would have missed him and the provision for the day.
Although the needs of the orphan houses were great, Mr. Müller felt to pray for funds to come in especially for the poor widows of the community as the price of bread had gone higher. A brother was led to give a good gift for this purpose which assisted a number of widows until the price of bread dropped a little.
At one time of dire need a gift came in from a brother with a large family and small salary. The brother had laid aside a bit at a time the money his master had given him for beer, but which he would not now use for beer as he had been converted. One lady, who supported herself with the work of her hands, drew her savings out of the bank and gave all to the work which was under Mr. Müller’s care. Her heart had been touched by the Scriptures: "Sell that ye have [sell your possessions] and give alms" (Luke 12:33), and "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth" (Matt. 6:19).
Sometimes Müller’s diary reads: "Today we were especially poor…" Once he recorded: "After the Lord has tried our faith, He, in the love of His heart, gives us an abundance, to show that not in anger, but for the glory of His name, and for the trial of our faith, He has allowed us to be poor…."
It was not infrequent that the staff met morning, noon and evening for prayer for supply of needs.
(To be continued)