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If and When, the Devil's Conjunctions

J. O. Fraser served as an early 20th century missionary to Southwest China. He was in training there and wrote the following words when he was only 22 years old.

"It has come home to me very forcibly of late that it matters little what the work is in which we are engaged; so long as God has put it into our hands, the faithful doing of it is of no greater importance in one case than in another...The temptation I have often had to contend with is persistent under many forms: 'If only I were in such and such a position,' for example, 'shouldn't I be able to do a great work!'

"...It is all IF and WHEN. I believe the devil is fond of those conjunctions...The plain truth is that the Scriptures never teach us to wait for opportunities of service, but to serve in just the things that lie next to our hands...The Lord bids us work, watch and pray; but Satan suggests, wait until a good opportunity for working, watching and praying presents itself--and needless to say, this opportunity is always in the future...Since the things that lie in our immediate path have been ordered of God, who shall say that one kind of work is more important and sacred than another?

"I believe that it is not more necessary to be faithful (one says it reverently) in preaching the Gospel than in washing up dishes in the scullery. I am no more doing the Lord's work in giving the Word of Life to the Chinese than you are, for example, in wrapping up a parcel to send to the tailor. It is not for us, in any case, to choose our work. And if God has chosen it for us, hadn't we better go straight ahead and do it, with waiting for anything greater, better or 'nobler'?"