You've probably never heard of George Duncan, but he was a man of great faith. That is to say, he trusted in the words of God and lived his life accordingly. He clung to the promises of his Father and made daily decisions as if they were literally true.
George served the Lord under the leadership of Hudson Taylor and China Inland Mission and was the first resident missionary in Nanking (now spelled Nanjing). The following story, taken from Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret (Littleton, CO: OMF Books, 2010), illustrates his faith well. May we meditate on his example and learn to live by faith in the promises of God, for God is faithful and what he has said he will surely do.
“When [George] could get no other lodging in Nanking, he was content to live in the drum tower where he shared an open loft with rats and the deep-toned bell, spending his days amid the crowds in the street and tea shop. When his supply of money was running low, his Chinese cook and only companion came to ask what they should do—leaving the city and the little place they had rented would probably mean no possibility of return.
“‘Do?’ questioned the missionary. ‘Why, we shall “trust in the Lord and do good.” So shall we “dwell in the land” and truly we shall be fed’ [Ps. 37:3].
“Days went on, and [Hudson] Taylor was unable to get the needed finances to Nanking by native banks. Finally, in his anxiety for Duncan, he sent a brother-missionary, William Rudland, by boat with money to relieve the situation. By this time the cook’s savings, willingly given to the work, were all used up, and between them they didn’t even have a dollar left. But Duncan had gone out to his preaching as usual, saying to his anxious companion, ‘Let us just “trust in the Lord and do good.” His promise is still the same, “So shall you dwell in the land, and truly you shall be fed.”’
“That evening Rudland understood why the water in the Grand Canal had run so low that he had to finish his journey over land by foot. It brought him to Nanking several days earlier than would have been possible by boat. When he reached the house, he found the cupboards just as empty as Duncan’s bank account. Trampling the endless streets, Duncan had preached all day and was returning tired and hungry when, to his surprise, he saw his Chinese helper running to meet him.
“‘Oh sir,’ he cried breathlessly, ‘It’s all right! It’s all right! Mr. Rudland—the money—a good supper!’
“‘Did I not tell you this morning,’ Duncan replied, laying a kindly hand on his shoulder, ‘that it is always “all right” to trust the living God?’” (page 103).