George Müller’s Life Of Trust (Part 6)
Persevering Through Trials Of Faith
Arranged from the book, THE LIFE OF TRUST, by George Müller (1805-1898)
George Müller felt led of the Lord to build a large home to replace the four rented houses in which lived the orphans for which he was providing. He and his wife prayed for over a month before the first gift was given for the building. There followed many months of further prayer and testing of faith.
The thought could not but come to George Müller that if he was so poor caring for 150 orphans, should he proceed with plans to build and accommodate for 300 orphans? But he saw the present straits as a trial of faith only. Although expenses had never been so great, the gifts coming in had never been so great either. "It is as easy for the Lord to supply me with all the means that the work will require when once the new Orphan House is opened as it is for Him to give me what I need now, though the expenses in all likelihood will then be two thousand five hundred pounds a year more than they are at present," was his thinking.
He delighted in tokens of God’s minute attention to needs. For example, someone would write that they had laid money by in a drawer for some time intending to send it – but felt impressed to send at this particular moment – and it was the very amount needed at that time.
In addition to the financial concerns of the work, Mr. Müller had also to consider the children who sometimes were sick and in some cases did not seem to recover but remained sickly children who needed extra care and wisdom concerning their health. Also older children needed places to serve as apprentices. Occasionally one of the workers needed to leave and had to be replaced. It was no easy matter to find workers who were suitable, who would serve for love of God and not for remuneration, and who would be willing to bear up under the trying and difficult circumstances that sometimes arose.
He himself had to maintain the balance between serving his fellow workers and maintaining the place of responsibility God had given to him as head of the work. Many were Mr. Müller’s needs which he carried to the Lord and waited upon Him for. "I am in continual need," he had to say.
But in spite of all these needs he could write: "I do not find the life in connection with this work a trying life, but a very happy one. It is impossible to describe the abundance of peace and heavenly joy that often has flowed into my soul by means of the fresh answers which I have obtained from God after waiting upon Him for help and blessing. And the longer I have had to wait upon Him, or the greater my need was, the greater the enjoyment when at last the answer came, often in a very remarkable way, in order to make the hand of God the more manifest…I am not in the least tired of it [this way of life]."
While Mr. Müller knew that God heard his prayers for the building fund he said, "Yet I also know that He delights in being earnestly entreated, and that He takes pleasure in the continuance in prayer, and in the importuning Him, which so clearly is to be seen from the parable of the widow and the unjust judge" (Luke 18:1-8).
So again and again he betook himself to prayer for God to supply the funds for the new orphanage house. His faith was not shaken. He had confidence that in His time, God would supply. Days grew into weeks and months as he continued waiting on God for finances to build. His prayers increased in earnestness for he felt the necessity for the sake of the neighbors and of the children to begin building soon. The waiting list of orphans was growing also.
He had purposed that he would not start until the money to purchase the property and build the house should come to him. At last, after 607 days of seeking God day by day, he had the needed amount on hand and he could begin work. Over eleven thousand pounds had come to him in answer to prayer.
After the house was nearly finished, additional funds began coming in. This was needed to buy the clothing and personal items that would be needed for the additional orphans coming – 300 total in place of the present 150. When the move took place, there was sufficient for the additional expenses involved, plus a good amount to cover the housekeeping expenses that would be entailed.
At the time Mr. Müller was moving into this enlarged orphanage, cholera swept the country, and Mr. Müller was able to take in 26 children who lost both parents in the epidemic. Later a number of additional children were taken in on this same account.
At the same time expenses were increasing at the orphanage, he was blessed of God to minister to more unsalaried missionaries. And what joy to him it was that these missionaries had very fruitful ministries at this time.
A Second Orphanage House
Scarcely had the new orphanage housing 300 children been opened than Mr. Müller began thinking of a second house that would accommodate another 700 children – making 1,000 in all. For such an undertaking he must know the will of God. He felt he was in a good position to find the will of God. He wrote:
"This calmness of mind, this having no will of my own in the matter, this only wishing to please my heavenly Father in it, this only seeking His and not my honor in it – this state of heart…is the fullest assurance to me that my heart is not under a fleshly excitement, and that if I am helped thus to go on I shall know the will of God to the full…The Lord’s honor is the principal point with me in this whole matter…By the help of God I shall continue further, day by day, to wait upon Him in prayer concerning this thing till He shall bid me act."
Carefully he listed the reasons for opening another home and the reasons against. An important consideration was that there were then about 6,000 orphans in prison. They were there because there were no other accommodations for them. It was on his heart not only to save the orphans from prison, not only to help them lead an honorable and industrious life in this world, but to win their souls to the Lord.
After eight weeks of prayer and deliberation, he found his heart peaceful and happy spiritually in thinking of enlarging the orphanage. He felt to hold the matter still before the Lord, without telling even his wife, and to continue praying that he be kept from mistake or delusion. As he sought the Lord alone on the matter, all uncertainty was removed. He purposed that he would not begin, however, until the Lord had sent in the thirty-five thousand pounds he felt would be needed for the new building.
A point Mr. Müller felt of great importance is "not to be anxiously reckoning about the morrow, nor dealing out sparingly on account of possible future wants which may never come; but to consider that the present moment to serve the Lord only is ours, and that the morrow may never come to us…."
When he announced to the public concerning the building of the second orphanage, token gifts began to come in – gifts of one shilling, two shillings, three shillings. It was a small beginning. But he was not discouraged.
(To be continued)