Sunday, December 23, 2012

When Faith Meets Function

Putting Feet to Faith

We sometimes find humor when we hear stories of weak or limited faith. Many times we find ourselves in great sympathy with the man who cried, “I believe Lord, help thou my unbelief!” Sometimes we read the accounts of faithful men and wonder if we could ever have that kind of faith. I found this account from the life of Hudson Taylor both amusing and convicting. 

When Hudson Taylor, the famous missionary, first went to China, it was in a sailing vessel. Very close to the shore of cannibal islands the ship was becalmed, and it was slowly drifting shoreward unable to go about and the savages were eagerly anticipating a feast. The captain came to Mr. Taylor and besought him to pray for the help of God. "I will," said Taylor, "provided you set your sails to catch the breeze." The captain declined to make himself a laughing stock by unfurling in a dead calm. Taylor said, "I will not undertake to pray for the vessel unless you will prepare the sails." And it was done. While engaged in prayer, there was a knock at the door of his stateroom. "Who is there?" The captain's voice responded, "Are you still praying for wind?" "Yes." "Well," said the captain, "you'd better stop praying, for we have more wind than we can manage."