Sunday, January 21, 2018

Impossible, Difficult, Done

November 20, 2010 by  
Filed under Monthly Articles

His lord said unto him, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou
hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many
things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” – Matthew 25:21
On my desk sits a 3 x 5, framed cross stitch. The background is blue. A
checkerboard pattern surrounds the lettering. A tiny butterfly perches in
the lower right corner. Three words are cross-stitched: impossible,
difficult, Done.

These words are from a quote by James Hudson Taylor a missionary to China
and the founder of the China Inland Mission. He spent 51 years in China
during the last part of the 1800’s and early 1900”s. The CIM was
instrumental in about 18,000 Chinese conversions.
Taylor’s methods were somewhat unorthodox for the day. He wore native
Chinese clothing and even adapted the typical Chinese male hairstyle of a
ponytail or queue. Unlike most Missions the CIM accepted members from all
Protestant groups, members of the working class, and single women.
I was greatly inspired by reading the life and writings of this man. One
quote, in particular, stood out to me: I have found that there are three
stages in every great work of God: first, it is impossible, then it is difficult, then it is done.

Years ago, I asked a friend to cross-stitch just those three words for
me. Being the second mile type person; she added the extras and framed it for
me. Back in those days life didn’t seem impossible for her; probably not
even difficult on most days. She has gone through some serious trials
over the past six or so years. Difficult describes her daily routine with many
days qualifying as impossible. I wonder if she remembers this cross-stitch.
Impossible, difficult, for now, but one day: “Well Done thou good and
faithful servant.”

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