“…O LORD, You are our Father;
You are the potter and we are the clay;
we are all the work of Your hand…”
Adelaide Addison Pollard was a young woman with a fervent passion to serve as a missionary, and to take the Gospel message to the remote reaches of the African continent – inspired in no small part by the ministry of Dr. David Livingstone.
Soon after receiving her training from the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, she spent nearly a year raising the funds – with very little success. Gradually she became disheartened and began to doubt whether or not she would, or even should, continue in her pursuit.
Then, at a Sunday evening worship service, her Pastor preached a Sermon on submission to the will of the LORD in one`s earnest desires, drawing from the texts of Isaiah, chapter 64 and Jeremiah, chapter 18 and Adelaide was deeply convicted. She recalled that much of her motivation in hearkening to the missionary call had been to her own ambitions more than to Souls in Africa.
In her diary that night, she wrote: “My questioning of GOD`s Will shows the flaw in me, so GOD has decided to break me… as the potter crushed the defective vessel. Now to mold my desire again in His own pattern.” and then concluded her writing that evening with a brief poem.
That poem was later set to Music by George Coles Stebbins, her friend and the Director of Music at the church she attended, and is sung to this day as the Hymn Have Thine Own Way, LORD.
Within the following week, an anonymous benefactor guaranteed her financial needs and Ms. Pollard set sail soon thereafter – working as a missionary to numerous different outposts throughout Africa for many years, before her death at the age of 72.