In the book, “Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret,” the author describes the preparation of this world known missionary to China, especially as it related to building his faith for what he would have to face in that perilous place. During those early years, he worked for a doctor who paid his salary only quarterly and instructed his young assistant to remind him when payday was near.
Eager to test his faith, Taylor decided never to remind the absent minded physician of his pay being due, thinking this would be a good exercise in building his faith in preparation for his important future work. Describing one of these testing times, he wrote:
“At one time, as the day drew near for the payment of a quarter’s salary, I was as usual much in prayer about it. The time arrived but Dr. Hardey made no allusion to the matter so I continued praying.
“Days passed and he did not remember, until at length on setting up my weekly accounts on Saturday night, I found myself possessed of one coin—a half crown piece (about one dollar).”
While Taylor was in this money crunch, a poor man came to him requesting that he go and pray with his wife who was dying. Both men hurried to the home where the woman was and upon arriving there the young missionary to be was moved by the extreme poverty of this family. Describing the scene, Taylor wrote:
“Up a miserable flight of stairs into a wretched room he led me, and oh, what a sight
there presented itself! Four or five children stood about, their sunken cheeks and temples telling unmistakably the story of slow starvation, and lying on a wretched pallet was a poor, exhausted, mother with a tiny infant thirty-six hours old, moaning rather than crying at her side.
Hudson Taylor knelt to pray for her but felt hypocritical. The money in his pocket weighed heavy on his mind. After stumbling through a prayer, he rose and gave all he had to the poor family even though he had nothing left now for food or rent and had promised the Lord he would not remind his employer to pay his salary.
God answered Taylor’s prayer and restored the woman to health. But the one who prayed was helped too. He later wrote that he believed his faith would have been wrecked if he had wavered during this testing time and had not been willing to give what he had to that destitute family, believing God would take care of him.
The next morning Hudson Taylor’s faith was rewarded. A gift from an anonymous donor was in the mail amounting to four times what he had given away the night before.
Thrilled with the triumph of his faith and the faithfulness of his Lord, the young man who would become world known for his dedication to God and his response to the needs of others wrote: “Praise the Lord: Four hundred percent for a twelve hour investment!”
And in that moment Taylor joined the select company of a little boy who investing his lunch fed five thousand and a poor widow whose mite counted more than a million.
Fear retreats and frets. Faith enables us to pass the toughest test.