David Brainerd (1718–1747) was an American missionary to the Native Americans. At that time, the Europeans settlers wanted to evangelize the native people. But very few Christians answered the call to go to them. The native people were known for crude pagan occult practices and wild behavior. Many who tried to go close to them were rejected or killed.
David went to Yale University but he was sent home after one year because he had tuberculosis and was spitting blood. Disappointed that he could not fulfill his academic dreams he joined a missionary agency that was looking for evangelists to go the Native Americans. God gave him supernatural favor with them. He could not speak their language. He used an interpreter who soon became born again. He rode on a horse back for many miles, in the forest, in places where no white man has ever entered. He often felt lonely and depressed. He never married. He kept a personal diary. He continued to do ministry among the Natives until he was too weak to walk.
A famous man of God Jonathan Edwards heard of him and took him to his house. There was no cure at that time for TB. He told his young daughter to take care of him. It was then that he discovered David’s diaries. Edwards was a pastor and was preaching revival. But he was discouraged that most of the people who called themselves Christians were only religious and not truly born again. Edwards was so touched by the words of David, his commitment to God, his pure faith and worship that he decided to use his own money to publish the dying man’s diaries. These became ‘best sellers immediately. David died at 29. Edward’s daughter contacted the TB and died few months after. They are both buried side by side.
During his short life he endured many difficulties but he never gave up on God. As a result, his biography becomes a source of great inspiration and encouragement to many Christians, especially the missionaries.
These are some lines from his diaries. Do you feel the anointing of the Holy Spirit working thru him?
“April 21 …and God again enabled me to wrestle for numbers of souls, and had much fervency in the sweet duty of intercession…
April 25. This morning I spent about two hours in secret duties and was enabled more than ordinarily to agonize for immortal souls. Though it was early in the morning and the sun scarcely shined at all, yet my body was quite wet with sweat…
December 15. Spent much time in prayer in the woods and seemed raised above the things of this world…
August 4. Was enabled to pray much, through the whole day…
November 3. Spent this day in secret fasting, and prayer, from morning till night…”
This is a great encouragement to me too. It is not only what we do that God uses and rewards. It is our words left behind in the hearts of men and on the pages of a diary. I encourage you all to start writing your thoughts on paper. You do not have to be a great poet to write down things about your life, as you see them. You never know what God will use your dairy to bless many souls unto eternity!
In Christ I declare:
“My heart us stirred by a noble theme…my tongue is the pen of a skilful writer…” (Ps 45:1)
I shall write books!
I shall compose songs!
To the glory of God!
In Jesus name