A Lesson in Tenacity from William Carey
By David Shibley
“I can plod,” wrote William Carey. “To this I owe everything.”
Through the years the man often called “the father of modern missions” would face many personal and family hardships. One of his greatest trials occurred in 1812 when his priceless manuscripts were destroyed in a suspicious fire (probably set by religious radicals who didn’t want Carey or his Christianity in India).
A massive dictionary of several languages, two grammar books, and whole versions of the Bible were reduced to ashes. A decade of devoted work – literally up in smoke – all in one night.
How easy it would have been for Carey to throw in the towel. Many Christians would have said, “Hey, I’m out of here. These people are unappreciative and unresponsive. I’ve sacrificed everything and this is the result. And by the way, God, is this how you treat your servants?”
That would have been a natural response. But Carey had shifted beyond his best efforts to the overdrive of supernatural power and endurance. Carey drilled deep into his faith in Christ’s triumph – and he started again. Carey accepted the tragedy as the Lord’s discipline. “There are grave difficulties on every hand,” he wrote, “and more looming ahead. Therefore, we must go forward.”
Today the seeds of the Gospel Carey sowed in India are bearing abundant fruit. Christianity is growing so rapidly in India that some predict India will be 25% Christian in the next ten years. Already there are more believers in India than in the United States.
By the end of Carey’s life he had recovered all lost ground – and much more. As he would later write in his journal, “God’s cause will triumph.” Today, even some Hindu scholars concede that the true “father” of modern India isn’t Gandhi – it’s William Carey.
So, if fierce opposition is tempting you to quit – don’t! God’s cause will triumph.
Discover more of Carey’s lessons on facing adversity in David Shibley’s new book, Great for God. This book is available through your Christian bookstore or online through several outlets including www.amazon.com and www.christianbook.com. Find out what others are saying about this inspiring book at www.facebook.com/GreatforGod.