To the Golden Shore: The Life of Adoniram Judson
by: Courtney Anderson
My sister loaned me this biography ages ago. So long ago, in fact, I moved it from Atlanta to Minnesota. It's been sitting on my "to read" shelf and it's just taken me a long time to actually buckle down to the task of reading it. I was intimidated by it's size and the largeness of the man the book is written about. But finally, in desperation to read something that would keep me engaged, I picked it up.
And then I couldn't put it down.
It's a beautifully written book. Anderson doesn't miss a detail and he knows just what his readers care to learn. He's well versed in the life of Judson and his writing only worked to clarify details, he's never a distraction.
Now, onto the life of Mr. Judson. In 500 pages there would be a lot to recap, so I'm whittling it down to the 2 things that have stuck with me the longest after finishing the book a month ago. Although, in various conversations, I'm consistently drawn back to his life, so there are I know there are many more than 2 things that have stuck with me.
1. Judson didn't know how to let fear make his decisions. Adoniram's main goal was his dedication to His Savior. He stood before governors, kings, faced illness, the death of 2 wives and multiple children, translated the Scriptures into Burmese, wrote the first Burmese dictionary, and suffered a tormenting imprisonment. Through all he endured, he first and foremost trusted His Savior. Every page is drenched with his dedication. He lived through things you and I could never imagine, yet he never allowed fear to make his decisions. He had 1 year after the death of his first wife, where he sent himself off to the jungle to seek God and heal. But even in that time, he placed himself in the center of a tiger infested jungle, trusting in God's care for him, and he returned home more committed to his cause, with a heart softer than he had before, and a renewed dedication to the work at hand. Fear was not his friend. He would not submit to it.
2. Obstacles are only obstacles. Judson came up against a million obstacles in his life. Before he ever left the U.S. for the first time, he faced the obstacle of financial and familial support for his endeavors. Then illness, imprisonment, death, rejection, few converts, and whatever else you'd care to name, followed him through Burma. But still, obstacles did not automatically mean for Adoniram, that he was to give in to them. Sometimes the obstacles slightly changed his course, but he never let them keep him from his calling. He continued to move forward and pursue his Savior with ever increasing fervor.
You'll be astounded by Adoniram's committment and dedication to One Thing. He stuck by people who took years to gain the courage to forfeit their previous lives. Even in the midst of pain and suffering, he painstakingly translated Scripture so the Burmese people could experience God. His translation is still the main Burmese translation of Scripture used today. Finally, he was constantly changing his perspectives. As he matured, he learned to admit his own failures, and grow from them. Read the book.