When parents grow exasperated with their children, they often need to remember that God frames us all differently, giving each child a unique perspective and personality. George Borrow was born on July 5, 1803, during the age of Napoleon, and George’s soldier-father expected a disciplined and eager son. Instead, George was moody and introspective with a penchant for running away. He was bored with the conventional and intrigued by the odd. He hated school but possessed an insatiable curiosity about herbalists, fortune-tellers, snakes, and dwarfs. He picked up languages with remarkable ease yet adopted a gypsy life, eventually becoming a tinker with cart and pony, selling pots and pans.

One evening while sleeping under the stars, George was awakened by a muffled voice saying, “Cut the rope, this is his pony.” By the faint glow of smoking embers, George saw two figures stealing his rig. He leaped on them, and for two hours the men fought and wrestled. Finally, one of the thieves smashed George’s head with a rock, and the rogues threw his body into the underbrush.

The next morning, two traveling Welsh evangelists saw a pair of feet sticking from a thicket. They dragged George to a clearing and attended his cuts with a damp cloth. The men gave him some bread and a book before going their way. George sat in the grass for hours, devouring both the bread and the book, a Bible—the Bread of Life. His brilliant mind soon discovered the Lord. In coming years, George learned dozens of languages and became a Bible translator. His autobiography, telling his adventures as a colporteur for the British and Foreign Bible Society, is full of breathtaking perils, narrow escapes, imprisonments, and gypsy-like journeys, especially in Spain. This odd man and his remarkable ministry captured the imagination of England and greatly advanced the cause of European Bible distribution.

Don’t forget how the Lord your God has led you through the desert for the past forty years. He wanted to find out if you were truly willing to obey him and depend on him, so he made you go hungry. Then he gave you manna, a kind of food that you and your ancestors had never even heard about. The Lord was teaching you that people need more than food to live—they need every word that the Lord has spoken. (Deuteronomy 8:2,3)

Robert J. Morgan, On This Day : 265 Amazing and Inspiring Stories About Saints, Martyrs & Heroes, electronic ed. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2000, c1997). July 5

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