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Smith Wigglesworth

My Friend Debbie      So many questions exist in the hearts of those who search and long for God. For too many of these hearts, bitterness has replaced the hunger and the search is abandoned. With our human understanding, it is hard to submit to the sovereignty of a God who is ultimately capable of eliminating all pain and suffering, who knows every end from the beginning, who hardens and softens hearts to accomplish His purposes, and then seems to stand by watching as we suffer. We are not given all of the answers. Instead, we are asked to trust; we are asked to love. Then, slowly, we are given wisdom that teaches us the heart of God.

     A little boy in England in the 1860's had a heart that longed for God. At six years old he was working in the fields to help his family, praying as he worked. At eight he was born again, understanding that Jesus had died for his sins. God cultivated this relationship with little Smith Wigglesworth in a way that was special and meaningful to him. Smith would pray that God would show him where the birds' nests were, and God would lead him straight there. He found several with baby birds that he would take back to his room, and open the window, and the adult birds would find them, and fly in and out to feed them.

     Smith never received a regular education. His family needed him and his brothers to work so they could survive. As hard as it was to work 12 hour days, he learned a different set of lessons. He learned to share what he had. As a young adult he would feed poor children and tell them about Jesus. God made sure Smith learned what he needed. He apprenticed with a plumber who also became a mentor, teaching him about the Holy Spirit.

     Smith Wigglesworth longed for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, and for souls to be saved. He married a lady preacher from the Salvation Army, and together they won souls for Christ. She would preach, and he would lead the alter call. When he was 48, Smith was baptized in the Holy Spirit with the initial evidence of speaking in tongues. He had never been a good speaker, finding it very difficult to put his thoughts into words, but after being baptized in the Spirit, he would speak fluently. When he came home and told his wife what had happened, she protested that she had been preaching by the power of the Holy Spirit for 20 years, and was just as filled as he was, though she had never spoken in tongues, but that he would preach that Sunday to prove it. While he preached she sat in the back of the church saying, "That's not my Smith, Lord. That's not my Smith."

My Friend Debbie      God led Smith Wigglesworth to see, experience, and preach divine healing. He traveled throughout England, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Europe. Wherever he travelled, he preached salvation and prayed for the sick to be healed. Some of his methods were controversial, but God confirmed His Word with many miracles. Smith often quoted Mark 16: "And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well." (vs. 17-18, NIV)

     Smith Wigglesworth hungered for God, and God filled him. It took many years for Smith to learn what he longed to know; it took trust and persistence to experience the fullness that God intended for him. As Smith learned to walk in this trust, his lifetime devoted to prayer and obedience allowed God to reach and heal many people. From Smith Wigglesworth's life, we can learn that the process of achieving what we desire from our relationship with God is as important (or even more important!) as the end result itself.

     If you'd like to know more of the details of Smith Wigglesworth's life, there are many resources online. Many of his own writings are found at www.smithwigglesworth.com.

Copyright © 2008-2015 Sarah Lentz

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