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A Business Owner’s Testimony

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart..."

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"Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful.  But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.  He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper." Psalms 1:1-3

James McConkey
In my early life I entered into a partnership with a friend in a wholesale ice business. Both of us were young men and had invested all we had, and considerably more, in the business. As time passed we met with disappointments. For two seasons in succession our ice was swept away by winter thaws. Things had come to a serious pass. It seemed very necessary that we should have ice in the winter of which I now speak. The weather became very cold. The ice formed and grew thicker and thicker, until it was ready to gather. I remember the joy that came into our hearts one afternoon when an order came for thousands of tons of ice which would lift us entirely out from our financial distress.

Not long before God had shown me the truth of committal. He had impressed me that I was to commit my business to Him and absolutely trust Him with it. And I did, as best I knew how. I never dreamed that such testing would come. And so I lay down that Saturday night in quietness. But, at midnight there came an ominous sound—rain! By morning it was pouring in torrents. I looked at the river from my home on the hillside. Yellow streaks of water were creeping over the ice. I knew what it meant. The water was at flood stage. The same condition had twice swept our ice away before. By noon the storm was raging in all its violence, and by afternoon I was facing a great spiritual crisis.

It may seem strange that a spiritual crisis would come over something seemingly trivial. But I have learned that a matter, though seemingly trivial, may have a profound and far-reaching impact on one’s life. And so it was with me. By mid-afternoon I had come face to face with the fact that deep in my heart was a spirit of rebellion against God. That rebelliousness seemed to develop through a suggestion to my heart like this:

“You gave everything to God. You say you are going to trust God with your business. Is this the way He rewards you? Your business will be swept away, and tomorrow you will come into a place of desperate financial distress.” And I found my heart growing bitter at the prospect of God taking away my business when I only wanted it for legitimate purposes. Then another voice whispered: “My child, did you mean it when you said you would trust me? Can you trust me in the dark as well as in the light? Would I do anything, or suffer anything to come into your life which would not work out for your good?” Then came the other voice: “But it is hard. Why shouldn’t God spare Your ice? Why should He take your business when it is clean and honest and you want to use it in the right way?” It was a very plausible sort of voice, and for the moment I did not detect the serpent hiss in the word “why.”

Back and forth, with ever increasing intensity, waged one of the greatest spiritual battles of my life. At the end of two hours, I was able to cry out by the grace of God, “Take the business; take the ice; take everything; only give me the supreme blessing of a fully submitted will.” Then came peace.

The storm was still raging and flooding my ice. But it did not seem to matter whether it continued raining or not. Then and there I discovered that the secret of anxious care was not in surroundings, but in the failure of allowing life and will to not be wholly given to Him regardless of circumstances or surroundings.

That night I slept in perfect peace. The rain continued to pour down on my ice, and it seemed my business would lie ruined in the morning. But it did not. At midnight there came another sound, the sound of the wind. By morning the worst blizzard of the year was upon us. By evening the mercury had fallen to zero. And in a few days we were harvesting the finest ice.

God did not want my ice. But He did want my yielded will and absolute trust in Him. When the matter of yielding my will had been settled, He gave back the ice. Not only that, but He blessed the business, and led me on, and out, until He finally guided me from it entirely and into the place He had chosen for me from the beginning: a teacher of His word. If you give your life to God, will God ruin it? No! As you trust in Jesus Christ, God will restore, enrich and glorify your life as never before.

*Taken from “The Surrendered Life,” James McConkey, Silver Publishing 1923

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