In 1895, when 67 years old, Andrew Murray was invited to speak at a number of prominent Christian conferences in Europe and America. In England he preached to large audiences at the popular Keswick Convention, at the China Inland Mission’s Mildmay Conference and at London’s renowned Exeter Hall.
While his ministry was appreciated by most, Murray did attract an occasional critic. Andrew and Emma Murray were being hosted in the home of a Mr. and Mrs. Head of Wimbledon. Mrs. Head related:
“One evening when the whole party returned together from a great meeting where a rapt and crowded audience had been addressed by Mr. Murray, he found awaiting him a letter from a well-known man, filled with severe censures upon him for teaching error. The way the criticism was expressed stirred indignation in all, except for Mr. Murray. He only said in his gentle way that if he had been teaching anything wrong, all that he asked was that the Lord would show this to him, that he might make it right. Quite simply they knelt down, and put up that petition; then rising they went in peace to rest.”
The next morning Murray stayed in bed for further rest. He was suffering from a weak back, the lingering result of an injury he had sustained a few years earlier when he was thrown from a capsizing cart while ministering in Natal, South Africa. While resting that Lord’s Day morning, Murray penned the following thoughts for his own encouragement:
In Time of Trouble Say:
First, He brought me here; it is by His will I am in this strait place: in that fact I will rest.
Next, He will keep me here in His love, and give me grace to behave as His child.
Then, He will make the trial a blessing, teaching me the lessons He intends me to learn, and working in me the grace He means to bestow.
Last, In His good time He can bring me out again – how and when He knows.
Let me say I am here,
(1) By God’s appointment. (2) In his keeping.
(3) Under His training. (4) For His time.
When Mrs. Head brought Murray his breakfast, she informed him that a lady “in sore trouble” had called at their home, anxious for a word of advice from Murray. “Well, just give her this, that I have been writing down for myself,” Murray responded. “It may be that she will find it helpful.” He handed his hostess a sheet of paper bearing the heading “In Time of Trouble Say” which contained the reflections already stated.
Andrew Murray’s name appeared at the bottom of the page along with a Scripture reference, Psalm 50:15, which declares the Lord’s promise, “And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.” Murray’s friends were so taken with the valuable perspectives he had encapsulated for times of adversity that they had them printed on colored card stock and distributed them in large numbers.
Of this incident, Mrs. Head concluded, “Next day Mr. Murray went straight to the writer of the [critical] letter and by his loving intercourse made him his faithful friend.”
This and many other beneficial incidents from Murray’s significant ministry career and commendable personal example are found in my newly-released biography, Andrew Murray: Christ’s Anointed Minister to South Africa.
Copyright 2015 by Vance E. Christie