Then, not long after his release from prison, Adoniram’s beloved wife Nancy died. Her constant life of sacrifice and service had finally taken its toll. Just a few weeks later little Maria, their third baby, was suddenly taken from this world. Judson was left utterly alone in a hostile Buddhist land, almost shattered with pain and grief.
Before him lay the prospect of tiger infested jungles, bat infested houses, and a fever infested climate—for life. Behind him lay an almost unimaginable trail of hardship and loss. But he did not leave off from his work. He did not abandon his Bible translating or his preaching and teaching labors. How could he? Eternal souls were at stake. Who else could reach the Burmese as well as he? So he remained for over 20 more years, returning to America only once—and that for necessity, not by choice.
. . . Adoniram Judson’s devotion for life was not in vain. On one occasion, during the great annual festival held at the towering golden Buddhist pagoda in Rangoon, he recorded that he had distributed “nearly ten thousand tracts, giving to none but those who ask. . . . Some come two or three months’ journey, from the borders of Siam and China—‘Sir, we hear that there is an eternal hell. We are afraid of it. Do give us a writing that will tell us how to escape it.’ . . . Others come from the interior of the country, where the name of Jesus Christ is little known—‘Are you Jesus Christ’s man? Give us a writing that tells about Jesus Christ.’ ” For Judson, it was worth it all. Today there are more than one million Burmese believers.
Can you imagine what would have happened if Adoniram had not obeyed the Lord and followed Him? What a loss that nation would have suffered! What millions of souls would have never found their way to heaven! But because of his sacrifice and obedience, his life was blessed and he became a blessing to millions.
My friends, this is the way of true blessing: walking in the fear of the Lord and following Him at all costs. By His grace, may we all walk His path of life, living our lives for His glory and offering our bodies “as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God” (Romans 12:1, NIV).