I got a similar story from Dr. James H. Brookes of St. Louis, a number of years ago while in his home over night. It was about J. Hudson Taylor, founder of the China Inland Mission, who had learned through many years of trusting how faithful God is. Mr. Taylor had been speaking in Dr. Brookes' church, and was to go to a town in southern Illinois to speak at the Sabbath services. Saturday morning they went down to the railroad station to get the train, and stepped into the station just as the train was pulling out at the other end. There was no possible chance of catching it. It seemed all the more exasperating that they could see the train moving away out of reach.
Dr. Brookes of course felt much chagrined. Mr. Taylor being a stranger in the country, and the guest of Dr. Brookes, had trusted his arrangements. Inquiries were quickly made about other trains. But there would not be another train out that way until night. And as they were questioning and talking the station-master said, |There's that train over there; it runs into Illinois and crosses another road down to where you want to go. They are supposed to make connections, but they never do.| Dr. Brookes said he went off to make further inquiries, and coming back in a few moments was surprised to find Mr. Taylor standing on the rear platform of the train that never made the connection.
He said, |Why, Mr. Taylor, that won't make the connection.| And Mr. Taylor smiled and in his very quiet way said, |Good-bye, Doctor, my Father runneth the trains.| That seemed to sound well for a sermon. But to Dr. Brookes' misgivings there came again the quiet |Good-bye, Doctor, my Father runneth the trains.| After starting Mr. Taylor explained the situation to the conductor, the importance of his engagement, and of making the desired connection, hoping the trainman might be of some service. The man hoped he would get the train, but said it was very doubtful as they rarely did. Mr. Taylor thanked him, and sat quietly praying.
Was the connection made? As Mr. Taylor's train pulled in the other was standing at the station. The conductor said, |Well, there it is, but I didn't expect it.| There was quite enough time to get across the platform without hurrying and into the other train when it moved off. Was God in that? I have no difficulty at all in understanding that He was. What concerned His friend, in a strange land, on an errand for Himself surely concerned Him. What concerns any trusting child of His concerns Him, for He has us on His heart.
I recall a personal experience in Boston one summer day. It was a very hot day. I was to meet my mother and sister in the North Union station, where we were to take a train out. I had their tickets. I reached the station from my errands, hot and tired and with my head aching, ideal conditions for worry. As I stepped into the station I realized at once that our appointment to meet was not very definite. For the large station was crowded. There was not much time before our train would go. And I commenced to be agitated, which is a gentler way of saying worried. What would I do? It would be extremely inconvenient, especially for my mother, to miss the train. And the time was short, and -- and -- .
You see I was not a graduate in this don't-worry school. I'm not yet; still studying; expect to enter for post work when I do graduate. The school is still open; open to all; instruction given individually only; the Teacher has had long experience Himself on the earth, in the thick of things.
Well, I said as I stood a moment in the thick crowd, |Master, you know where they are. Please take me to them. Maybe I should have been more careful about the appointment, but I was tired at the start. Please -- thank you.| And in less time than it takes to tell you I met them right in the thick of the great crowd. And I felt sure that Peter got his putting of it straight when he said of the Master, |He has you on His heart.|