Saturday, March 25, 2017

Isn’t It Wonderful How God Leads?

George Young was a carpenter. He and his wife were dedicated to following the Lord wherever He led. "He does the leading," they often said, "and we do the following." God led the Young's to the rural Midwest, and they traveled from church to church in revival efforts. Their finances were always tight, but "through the many years, we never went hungry!" as Mrs. Young said years later. "Oh, sometimes we didn't have too much of this world's goods, but... we always had so much of Jesus."

Finally they saved enough to buy a small piece of land on which George built a cottage. Though humble, it was the fulfillment of a life's dream, and when they moved in they dedicated the house to God and sang the Doxology. But some time later, when the Young's were away on a ministry trip, a thug who had been offended by George's preaching set the house on fire. Returning home, the Young's found a heap of ashes. All their worldly goods and cherished possessions were gone.

As George gazed at the ruins, he recounted the precious possessions fire could never destroy - his family, his relationship with Christ, his ministry, his eternal home. There and then, the words of a hymn began forming in his mind. Within a few days, he had written all three stanzas of the great hymn "God Leads His Dear Children Along." The chorus says...

Some thro' the waters, some thro' the flood Some thro' the fire, but all thro' the blood. Some thro' great sorrow, but God gives a song In the night season and all the day long.

Years later, music publisher Dr. Harold Lillenas decided to track down George's widow. Driving to the small Kansas town where she resided, he stopped for directions and was alarmed to hear that Mrs. Young was living in the rundown county poorhouse. Lillenas was deeply troubled that the widow of the author of such a powerful hymn about God's guidance should spend her final days in the poorhouse.

Mrs. Young only smiled and said, "One day God took my sweet husband home. Oh, how I missed him, for we had always served the Lord together. In my heart I wondered, where will God lead me now? Dr. Lillenas, God led me here! I'm so glad He did, for you know, about every month someone comes into this place to spend the rest of their days, and Dr. Lillenas, so many of them don't know my Jesus. I'm having the time of my life introducing them to Jesus! Dr. Lillenas, isn't it wonderful how God leads?"

David Jeremiah

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