Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Behind the Ranges - story of missionary J.O. Fraser

I have been greatly encouraged by the experience and writings of J.O. Fraser, missionary to the Lisu minority people group in the mountains of China, and would like to share some portions with you:

Some quotes and my reactions...

He was concerned that the recent converts to Christian faith would return to demon worship: "I am not anxious, not nervous. If I hugged my care to myself instead of casting it upon Him, I would never have persevered with the work this long - perhaps never even have started it. But if it has begun in Him, it must be continued in Him."
How true - when I "hug my care to myself" and do not cast it on Him, I begin to weaken in purpose and in spiritual strength. The key to continuing is releasing these burdens to Him.
He read II Chronicles 20:15-17, "The battle is not yours, but God's...Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you...fear not, nor be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them: for the Lord will be with you." This led him to write the following: "Seem distinctly led to fight against principalities and powers for Middle Village. Have faith for the conversion of that place, and pray as a kind of bugle call for the hosts of heaven to come down and fight for me against the powers of darkness..."
My favorite line: to "pray as a kind of bugle call" - what a powerful picture that is! To call out the forces of the Kingdom of Light to fight - all in response to the prayer of men who are 'but dust.'
"We cannot press souls into the kingdom of Heaven; neither, when they are once converted, can we worry them into maturity; we cannot by taking thought add a cubit to our own spiritual stature or anyone else's. The plants of our heavenly Father's planting will grow better under His open sky than in the hot-houses of our feverish effort. It is for us to water, and to water diligently, but we cannot give the increase, however hard we try. An abnormally rapid growth is often unnatural and unhealthy: the quick growth spoken of in Matthew 13:5 is actually said to be a sign of its being ephemeral."
How silly I am to believe that my earnestness, "feverish efforts" or intensity will be the cause of any spiritual maturity around me in new believers. I am more and more and more and more driven to prayer.
Believers must... "work in the atmosphere of eternity. The rush and the bustle of carnal activity breathe a spirit of restlessness. The Holy Spirit breathes a deep calm. This is the atmosphere in which we may expect a lasting work of God to grow."
"Let us take care first of all that it is a work of God - begun and continued in God - and then let us cast our anxities, our fears, and our impatience to the winds. Let us shake off 'dull sloth' on the one hand and feverishness on the other. A gourd may spring up in a night, but not an oak."
Almighty God, I want to be part of cultivating an Oak tree. Give me your patience and perspective through the lense of eternity.
"When God sends His servants to reap, such a time of special waiting upon Him is all to the good, even if it seems to intrude upon the urgency of the task."
I have been discouraged these past few weeks due to the interuption of my activities for the Gospel by dealing with grief related to the murder of a good friend. My workaholic nature wants to press forward, irritated at the lack of control that I have upon my emotions and my need for rest. But I am reminded by Fraser, whose biographer wrote these words to describe his rest after surgery, that a time of waiting upon Him is more important than any level of activity.


  1. Thanks for sharing these gems from your reading and your own reflections. The last few lines made me think of a sign I saw one day over the doorway of a quiet little cottage in Cayman...the words "Rest and be" were painted on a board that was almost engulfed by a beautiful flowering vine. It was so inviting and powerfully simple. I've often thought I should paint the same message over my doorway. Rest and be, my friend!

  2. CK - you are officially my first "commentor" on my blog. What an honor...for me!! :) thanx.