Adoniram Judson knew well the call of God and life on mission. It is evident that he held a sense of sobriety afforded by plunging deep into texts like Matthew 10. One thing for sure is that Jesus could never be charge for false advertising when it comes to following him. When it came time to request permission from the father of his soon-to-be bride, he made clear the great expectations in life married to a man dead to the world and alive to the Great Commission. Here is what he wrote:
I have now to ask, whether you can consent to part with your daughter early next spring, to see her no more in this world; whether you can consent to her departure, and her subjection to the hardships and sufferings of missionary life; whether you can consent to her exposure to the dangers of the ocean, to the fatal influence of the southern climate of India; to every kind of want and distress; to degradation, insult, persecution, and perhaps a violent death. Can you consent to all this, for the sake of him who left is heavenly home, and died for her and for you; for the sake of perishing, immortal souls; for the sake of Zion, and the glory of God? Can you consent to all this, in hope of soon meeting your daughter in the world of glory, with the crown of righteous, brightened with the acclamations of praise which shall redound to her Savior from heathens saved, through her means, from eternal woe and despair?
What clarity of vision, what passionate focus, what heavenly perspective! In a letter to her friend Lydia, Judson’s soon-to-be wife responded this way:
I feel willing, and expect, if nothing in Providence prevents, to spend my days in this world in heathen lands. Yes, Lydia, I have about, come to the determination to give up all my comforts and enjoyments here, sacrifice my affection to relatives and friends, and go where God, in his Providence, shall see fit to place me.
As I reflected on the commitment of this couple, I began to wonder where is such great expectation in my generation? Can I honestly say that I know anything of this sort of resignation and abandonment to God?
Perhaps the reason why there is so little glorious ambition for God today is because there is so little reckless abandon unto God. Before there can be great expectations, there must be great resignation. May God lead us past the fear and praise of man to journey down paths where glory-bent men like Judson and Carey once trod for the fame of His name.