Listening to Others’ Advice — Morning Devotions - Hope 103.2

Listening to Others’ Advice — Morning Devotions

The story of Gladys Aylward is a truly inspiring one. It's a story that also teaches us to trust in the unique plan God has for you.

By Chris WittsWednesday 6 Jul 2022Morning Devotions with Chris WittsFaithReading Time: 1 minute

Subscribe to Morning Devotions podcast

Morning Devotions with Chris Witts podcast hero banner


If you like old movies, you might remember one that goes back to 1958. That’s a long time ago, but I’m thinking of the Ingrid Bergman movie The Inn of the Sixth Happiness.

You might know the story. Gladys Aylward was a young woman in England who felt a call by God to go as a missionary to China. So she signed up with the China Inland Mission. She signed up with them, and she began their training. But she just didn’t fit their mold, and they had to tell her “We’re sorry, but you just won’t make it as a missionary to China with us.”

She was very discouraged about this, but she was not willing to let that deter her from what she thought was the unmistakable call of God in her life. So she began to work as a maid, lived frugally, and she saved all of her money so she could buy her passage to China.

This was toward the beginning of this century, and it turns out that when she finally left England and took a train across Siberia to get to China, unfortunately, it was during the Russian China War. So there were all sorts of tricky things that she had to go through to get into China.

When she finally arrived, life was hard. In fact, her ministry was running an inn for mule drivers. But the Lord blessed her work and even gave her a job from the Chinese government, she became the main foot inspector for her region, going around and checking to make sure the Chinese were no longer binding the legs and the feet of their female children, the little girls, so that their legs could grow freely and straight. In that job, she was able to go to every single village and share Bible stories and talk about Jesus Christ and the Gospel, and many people came to know Jesus Christ through her.

Of course, what she is probably most famous for was what she did with children. It was remarkable, she adopted many children in China and cared for dozens of orphans. When the Japanese invaded China in 1938, she became famous for leading 100 children for weeks over the mountains of China and the Yellow River, to take them to safety in the province that was not yet hit by the war. One hundred children were saved. It’s a beautiful and inspiring story.

The point I want to make is that God used her in a mighty and powerful way throughout her time in China to bring many of the Chinese to Christ and to save the lives of these 100 children. But, if she had listened to the folks in the mission agency back home in England, she would never have gone. You see, she just didn’t fit in. She didn’t fit the old mold.

Hope 103.2 is proudly supported by

And the reality is that God is often about doing new things in the world around us. Are we open to the new things that God wants to do in our lives? Don’t always accept people’s comments, “you cant do it”. They may be completely wrong.

Somebody said that it couldn’t be done,
But, he with a chuckle replied
That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one
Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that;
At least no one has done it”;
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat,
And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.
With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
There are thousands to prophesy failure;
There are thousands to point out to you one by one,
The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle it in with a bit of a grin,
Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start to sing as you tackle the thing
That “couldn’t be done,” and you’ll do it.
By Edgar Albert Guest, © 1916, All rights reserved.

God has made you unique, even if you feel you don’t fit the mold, or some say “you’ll never make it, you’re dreaming.”

But Gladys Aylward was open to God’s leading and had a very strong conviction of what He wanted her to do. She was sensitive to His leading. God is a God of surprises, and it was like that for the children of Israel when Isaiah said to them “The Lord always does right; He blesses those who trust Him.” (Isaiah 30:18 CEV)

Now you will see the Lord, your teacher, and He will guide you. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, you will hear a voice saying “This is the road. Now follow it”. (Isaiah 30).

One of the wonderful things about God is that He has created each one of us to do something special. He built in us desires and skills to accomplish that work. Have you found your life’s mission? Have you asked God to reveal it to you? For instance, a nurse has an inbuilt attitude of caring while a carpenter has an inbuilt attitude of creativity. You possess a unique set of abilities and personality.

1 Peter 4:10 exhorts, “Each of you has received a gift to use to serve others. Be good servants of God’s various gifts of grace”.

I like what Proverbs 3: 5-6 says too “With all your heart you must trust the Lord and not your own judgement. Always let Him lead you, and He will clear the road for you to follow”.