Excerpt from

Early one morning Abigail was playing in Mr. Muller's garden on Ashley Down when he took her by the hand. "Come see what our Father will do," he said.

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The Amazing Story of George Muller part 3

A Character story about dependability.

By 1870 George Muller was overseeing 5 mammoth orphan houses with nearly 2000 orphans occupying them. By prayer alone he provided the food, clothing, housing, and schooling for these children whose parents had died. They experienced both times of plenty and times of poverty, but always they trusted God to be a "Father of the fatherless." Sometimes God's provision for them was through the small gifts sent or brought to Ashley Down. Other provisions were truly amazing.

God's perfect timing was so often evident in His provision. In 1849 Orphan House #1 was nearing completion when a cholera epidemic broke out in Bristol. As a result of this dreaded disease, many more children were left orphans, but a new home was also ready for them, just at the right time.

In November of 1857 Mr. Muller was informed that the boiler for the heating system of Orphan House #1 probably had a bad leak and would have to be repaired. However, the boiler was surrounded by brickwork so it could not easily be checked. Should the brickwork be taken down? If the boiler was damaged, it would mean a cold winter for 300 children. However, if no problem really existed, breaking down the brickwork might damage it. Mr. Muller committed the problem to God. He had peace that the work should be undertaken as soon as possible. But a few days before work was to begin, a north wind brought the first signs of winter.

Mr. Muller prayed for two things: that God would change the wind to a south wind, and that the workmen would want to work hard. Sure enough, the Wednesday when the heat was to be shut off, the south wind blew and the air turned warmer. The brickwork was removed and the problem immediately found. At 8:30 that evening the boss told Mr. Muller that his men would come early in the morning to complete it.

"Excuse me, Sir," answered one of the workers, "but we would rather work all night to finish the job." Within 30 hours the brickwork was in place around the repaired boiler, and never was the heat needed during this time.

On February 8th, 1842, Mr. Muller wrote, "Before 9 o'clock tomorrow morning we need more money to be able to take in the milk. Truly, we are poorer than ever; but through grace my eyes look not at the empty stores and the empty purse, but to the riches of the Lord only." The next morning he wrote, "A brother, in going to his house of business this morning, had gone already about half a mile, when the Lord was pleased to lay the orphans upon his heart. He said, however, to himself, 'I cannot well return now, but will take something this evening,' and thus he walked on. Nevertheless, he could not go on any further, but felt himself constrained to go back, and take to the Boys' Orphan House, three sovereigns (the amount needed)."

In 1861 the Townsend family came to work with Mr. Muller and their daughter, Abagail, was just three years old. She loved Mr. Muller and spent as much time with him as she could. She wanted God to answer her prayers like He did the old gentleman's. One day at Mr. Muller's home, she climbed on his knee and recited Jesus' words, "What things soever ye desire when ye pray, believe that ye receive them and ye shall have them."

"Now Abbie," Mr. Muller asked, "what is it you want to ask God for?"

"Some wool," she replied.

Mr. Muller took her hands and said, "Repeat after me. Please God, send Abbie some wool." When Abbie had prayed this, she ran into the garden to play, but soon returned.

"I want to pray again," she said.

"Not now, Dear, I'm busy."

"But I forgot to tell God the color I want."

Mr. Muller lifted her to his knee, saying, "That's right, be definite, my child. Tell God what kind of wool you want."

"Please God, send me wa-re-gated wool."

The next day the little girl was thrilled to receive a package in the mail. Her Sunday school teacher had sent her an early birthday present- variegated wool!

Early one morning Abigail was playing in Mr. Muller's garden on Ashley Down when he took her by the hand. "Come see what our Father will do," he said.

He led her into a long dining room. The plates and cups or bowls were on the table. But there was nothing on the table but empty dishes. No food was in the larder, and no money to supply the need. The children were standing, waiting for breakfast.

"Children, you know we must be in time for school," said Mr. Muller. Then lifting his hand he prayed, "Dear Father, we thank Thee for what Thou art going to give us to eat." Just then a knock was heard. The baker stood there.

"Mr. Muller, I couldn't sleep last night. Somehow I felt you didn't have bread for breakfast, and the Lord wanted me to send you some. So I got up at 2 o'clock and baked some fresh bread, and have brought it."

George thanked the baker and praised God for His care. "Children," he said, "we not only have bread, but the rare treat of fresh bread."

Almost immediately there came a second knock at the door. This time it was the milkman who announced that his milk cart had broken down outside the orphanage, and that he would like to give the children his cans of fresh milk, so that he could empty his wagon and repair it.

In February of 1870 Mr. Muller's wife and partner in the orphan work, Mary, passed away. Though this was a great loss to Mr. Muller, it was an equally great loss to the orphans. She had overseen the purchase of cloth for clothes, blankets, sheets, etc. She also kept track of the account books and the hundreds of expenses each month as well as giving special care for the sick orphans. Mr. Muller told her many times, "God Himself singled you out for me, as the most suitable wife I could possibly wish to have had."

Early the next year George, now 66, married another godly woman named Susannah Sangar. In 1875, after giving the care of the work into the hands of his son-in-law, James Wright, the two set out on the first of what would be 14 missionary trips covering 200,000 miles. During these 17 years they visited 42 countries. The purpose of the trips was to strengthen Christians by sharing with them how God answers prayer. The Mullers came to Canada at least three times, and had lunch with the President of the United States in 1877.

An interesting story is told about his crossing the ocean to Quebec on this first trip. Off Newfoundland the weather turned cold and the ship was slowed as the fog rolled in. The captain had been on the bridge for 24 hours when something happened that changed his life. George Muller came to visit him.

"Captain, I have come to tell you I must be in Quebec by Saturday afternoon," Mr. Muller announced.

"It is impossible," the captain replied.

"Very well, if your ship cannot take me, God will find some other way- I have never broken an engagement for 52 years. Let us go down into the chart-room and pray."

"Mr. Muller, do you know how dense this fog is?" he asked.

"No, my eye is not on the density of the fog, but on the living God, who controls every circumstance of my life." When Mr. Muller had prayed, the captain was about to pray but Mr. Muller put his hand on the man's shoulder and told him not to.

"First, you do not believe He will; and second, I believe He has, and there is no need whatever for you to pray about it . . . Captain, I have known my Lord for 52 years, and there has never been a single day that I have failed to get an audience with the King. Get up, Captain, and open the door, and you will find the fog is gone." And it was! This incident so affected the captain that he later became a well-known evangelist.

Mr. Muller once said, "Brethren and sisters, we should live so as to be missed." Mr. Muller died on March 10th, 1898 at the age of 92. The whole city of Bristol was closed for the funeral. Over 2000 orphans marched in the funeral line. People all over the world felt the loss of this dear man. Just before his death, Mr. Muller calculated that 10,024 orphans had found a home there. Over £1 million ($7 million) had been given to Mr. Muller in answer to prayer and he had distributed over a fourth of a million Bibles.

In these three chapters we have learned several secrets that made Mr. Muller great. Here is one more, from his own writing. "I know what a lovely, gracious, bountiful Being God is from the revelation which He has been pleased to make of Himself in His Holy Word . . . Therefore I was satisfied with God, I delighted myself in God; and so it came, that He gave me the desire of my heart." (Psalm 37:4) You know, God is willing do the same for you.

© 1997 James W. Swanson