Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling
Entering our world on September 27, 1805, and parting on March 10, 1898, George Müller’s life spanned nearly the entire length of the 19th Century. While best known for his innovative, faith-based care for orphans, Müller also left a lasting legacy of Christian reform within the social constructs of education and welfare for indigent families. The loss of his own mother was the primary catalyst. As a young boy watching his mother fail in health and eventually pass away, Müller turned to a licentious lifestyle of carousing with friends. His dad, overwhelmed with responsibilities as a widower and keen to see George get on track with his life, enrolled Geroge in a seminary at the University of Halle, Germany. While in seminary, George’s heart began to soften toward God. It was during this transformative season that George attended a prayer meeting (in 1825) where he discovered God’s grace and forgiveness:
“I have no doubt … that He began a work of grace in me. Even though I scarcely had any knowledge of who God truly was, that evening was the turning point in my life.” The Autobiography of George Müller, p16
After seminary, Müller—burdened with proclaiming the Gospel to the lost—immigrated to England (age 24) to join forces with the London Society for Promoting Christianity Amongst the Jews. Stricken by health issues, Müller revised his target territory to take advantage of the warmer weather in the Southwest of England. After a short stint in Devonshire, Müller moved to Bristol in 1832 to join forces with Henry Craik at Bethesda Chapel. Two years later, he founded the Scripture Knowledge Institute for Home and Abroad which led to the establishment of his first day schools for orphans (five established within the first year). Receiving only gifts prayerfully given in faith, over the next sixty years Müller would direct nearly £1,400,000 in funds ($150,000,000 in today’s US market) to establish a network of orphanages throughout Bristol (caring for over 10,000 children) and to propagate the gospel through Bible-distribution initiatives and world missions (including the support of Hudson Taylor’s work in China). His legacy lives on today through the Geroge Müller Charitable Trust which collaborates with local churches in Bristol to care for children and their families’ spiritual, emotional, social, and practical needs.
Turning his heart toward God, Müller moved beyond his own broken heart to the needs of thousands of brokenhearted orphans and families. While most of us dads will never attain all that Müller accomplished in his lifetime, when we tap into God’s grace and forgiveness we too can make a difference within our own areas of influence—starting in our homes. So Happy Father’s Day to all of us who have the heart of a father!