Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Missed Opportunities and the Grace of God

I love George Müller. Sure, I’ve never met him (since he lived from 1805-1898), but I’ve carefully read many things he’s written and through his pen you can see his heart. One thing I love most about him is that he was quick to notice his failures, admit them, and learn from them. Once such failure took place when he was twenty-two years old and traveling from Halle to Berlin, Germany. Although the following quote is long, I want to let Müller speak for himself.

“Two ladies of title traveled with me to Berlin in a hired carriage. As I knew that we should be for two days together, I thought, in my fleshly wisdom, that though I might speak to them about the things of God, I should first show them kindness and attention, and that, after thus opening a way to their hearts, I might fully set before them their state by nature, and point them to the Lamb of God.

“We went on together most amicably, I making only a few general remarks about divine things. On the second evening, however, when we were near the end of our journey, I felt that it was high time to speak. And no sooner had I plainly begun to do so, than one of them replied, ‘Oh! Sir, I wish you had spoken sooner about these things, for we have, for a long time, wished to have some one to whom we might open our hearts; but seeing that the ministers whom we know do not live consistently, we have been kept from speaking to them.’ I now found that they had been under conviction of sin for some time, but did not know the way to obtain peace, even by faith in the Lord Jesus.

“After this, I spoke freely to them during the hour that yet remained. They parted from me with feelings of gratitude and regret that they could hear no more, for they only passed through Berlin. I felt myself greatly reproved, and all I could do was by a long letter to seek to make up for my deficiency in ministering to them on the journey. May this circumstance never be forgotten by me, and may it prove a blessing to the believing reader” (Autobiography of George Müller, Westminster Literature, page 27-28). 
As you reflect on this story, what do you think kept Müller from speaking about the things of God earlier? How did his fleshly wisdom get in the way of spiritual things? How does this story speak into your life and ministry with others?

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