Another awesome nugget from Tim Chester’s The Ordinary Hero is the story of Adoniram Judson’s marriage proposal:
“I have now to ask, whether you can consent to part with your daughter early next spring, to see her no more in this world; whether you can consent to her departure, and her subjection to the hardships and sufferings of the missionary life; whether you can consent to her exposure to the dangers of the ocean, to the fatal influence of the southern climate of India; to every kind of want and distress; to degradation, insult, persecution, and perhaps a violent death. Can you consent to all this, for the sake of him who left his heavenly home, and died for her and for you; for the sake of perishing, immortal souls; for the sake of Zion, and the glory of God? Can you consent to all this, in hope of soon meeting your daughter in the world of glory, with the crown of righteousness, brightened with the acclamations of praise which shall redound to her Saviour from heathens saved, through her means, from eternal woe and despair?
Ann Hasseltine’s father let her decide. She said ‘Yes’ and in 1812 became the wife of the first American overseas missionary. Twelve days after their wedding they set sail for Burma, where they spent the rest of their lives.
Thinking their story over quickens my heart. It makes me ashamed of how I often live so narrowly, so selfishly, so near-sightedly, but it also makes me long to change, to live ‘higher’. Oh, to have eyes so fixed on eternity that I’d value things aright: count all the greatest pleasures, joys, securities of this world as quickly-fading flowers; know all sufferings, deprivations, injustices in this world to be fleeting shadows; hold Jesus as my great, my solid, my infinitely-valuable treasure; count wasting everything I have in this life for His sake as the greatest of gains.
Forgive me, Lord, when I live as if You were not of infinitely more worth than anything – than everything – in the Universe. Give me eyes to see You and Your suffering world truly.