On this day in 1742, David Brainerd, missionary to the Native Americans of New England, writes in his journal:

“It was sweet to give away myself to God, to be disposed of at his pleasure. I had some feeling sense of the sweetness of being a pilgrim on earth.”

For the past month, Brainerd had been struggling to live out the realization that on this earth, he was a stranger and pilgrims.  Anything done without Christ was emptiness.  The day before, David recorded:

My desires seem especially to be after weanedness from the world, perfect deadness to it, and that I may be crucified to all its allurements. My soul desires to feel itself more of a pilgrim and stranger here below; that nothing may divert me from pressing through this lonely desert, till I arrive at my Father’s house.

But as David traveled around, working among the Indians, he began to see first hand God’s provision and love for His servants who live their lives for Him and His kingdom.  As he was travelling, he stopped by a house, hoping to recieve a drink.  He writes:

I called at a house by the way, where being very kindly entertained and refreshed, I was filled with amazement and shame, that God should stir up the hearts of any to shew so much kindness to such a dead dog as I; was made sensible, in some measure, how exceeding vile it is not to be wholly devoted to God. I wondered that God would suffer any of his creatures to feed and sustain me from time to time.

Brainerd summed up this experience by saying, “I had rather be a beast, than a man without God, if I were to live here to eternity.”

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