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August 17, 2009

Poor Me!

The Christian and Missionary Alliance Church in Atlanta made a deep impression on student Mabel Willey. Its missionary ardor permeated her, but …I became aware of a lack in myself. Deep in my heart, I knew what God wanted me to do. But I also knew that in my life there was no power. I did not have the freedom to witness as I wished. One Sunday I attended a service with a visiting evangelist. “Is there anyone in this audience who feels your life is empty? You want to do, but there isn’t the power, the strength of the Holy Spirit?” As the choir sang, I slipped quietly to the altar. “Lord, here I am. I can offer nothing but myself. That’s all I have, but I want this power to serve you.”

Mabel enrolled in Toccoa Falls Bible Institute for missionary training, but with many lessons still to learn.

“Poor me! I always have to do everything,” I complained to the Lord one morning. I was president of the graduating class. As a parting gift, the class voted to dedicate a gate for one of the entrances to the Institute. I was responsible for many details, but in spite of my hard work, no one else seemed interested. All the students were busy with their own concerns.
That morning I got up early and went to the falls. Selecting a rock as a seat, I contemplated those falls, higher than Niagara, and complained to the Lord. “No one will help me, Lord. Please give me a verse just for me right now.” I opened my Bible expecting to find a gracious verse, full of love and sustenance for His poor, discouraged servant. Instead these words stood out in bold letters: “After you have done all, say I am an unworthy servant.”

I walked back to the door with a changed attitude. As a result things began to fall into place and the project moved forward to completion.

It was a lesson Mabel recalled many times as a missionary to Cuba.*

*Adapted from Beyond the Gate: The Autobiography of Mabel Bailey Willey (Nashville, TN: Randall House Publications, 1998).

Taken from the book: From This Verse by Robert J. Morgan (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc. 1998.