Isobel Kuhn

Tuesday, 5 July 2011


For Isobel Miller Kuhn ‘by searching’ was a very important part in her life as it led her into a deeper life with God. Isobel’s journey of ‘searching’ started at the end of her university years. Born on the 17th of December, 1901, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and raised in a loving, Christian family, Isobel or  "Belle", had never yet , in her own words, had "a direct confrontation with the [living] Saviour" herself. While still a freshman in university she was shaken in her faith while attending a lecture by Dr. Sedgewick, a university professor, who ridiculed her faith with a "pitying sneer". She turned from all that she had been brought up from and became an agnostic-like her peers-, giving up God and the faith of her parents, for worldly pursuits. But as graduation day approached and her engagement was broken, she questioned the decision she had made. One day, when her broken-heart found no flight from the misery, shame, and upheaval of life, she was ready to commit suicide. Instead of drinking a bottle of poison from the bathroom medicine cabinet, however, Isobel listened to the sound of her father's sleeping groans from his bedroom, and remembered that he had been a "dear, kind father..." She went back to her room, remembering the words of a Latin Poem... "In His will is our peace." She considered that if God existed, she certainly wasn't in
"His will"; perhaps, she wondered, that was why she had no peace.The young woman, at last knelt and whispered her cry to the Lord, “God, if there be a God, if you will prove to me that You are, and if You will give me peace, I will give You my whole life. I’ll do anything You ask me to do, go where You send me, obey You all my days.” That night she slept like a child, in perfect peace. She had not slept like that in many a long day. Isobel realized that God had answered her prayer!
But Isobel now, as she soon discovered, had to ‘keep her part of the bargain’. She determined to search for God through Jesus Christ. She began a life from then on of two levels: an external level of study, worldly gaiety and arrogance, and an internal level of watching, in search after God- that is if there was a God she added. Once she was at a dance when her former fiancé arrived and disregarding her, danced with another girl. At that time Isobel felt such shame that she went to a secluded spot and recalling that she had been trying to prove that there was a God, she prayed-even though her heart mocked Him, “O God, if You are, please give me peace.” Immediately peace flooded her soul. Even though when she cried for God to help her she was so sardonic in her unbelief, yet God had swiftly answered. She was now convinced of God’s existence and she searched deeper in her search for God.
At that time, Isobel’s mother-who didn’t know yet of the change in Isobel begged her to go to a meeting in which she met Professor Ellis, a sophisticated, and educated Christian gentleman. Years later she said, ‘I instinctively knew that here was a man who had a personal experience with God.’ And so, even though her head was still befogged by the ‘Mist of the Flats’, God had planted Isobel’s feet on the High Way, being prepared to climb, her face steadfastly turned towards Christ. After she finished university, she took a job as a primary teacher, and yet there she found herself a failure. She was so unsure of life and was afraid of the future so she decided to see a phrenologist. But at this time of crisis in her life, Mrs Whipple, her hostess, who was a strong Christian, gave her encouragement through God’s word and showed her the way to Christ clearly. Mrs Whipple told her that God had a plan for Isobel’s life and He’d direct her in the right time.
Isobel now entered a new stage of her searchings for God. In that time as she called ‘my year in Arabia’ God dealt with her and drew her to Himself, showing her that all she desired was in Him. At that time she was lonely, living among unbelievers in a boarding house. However she soon discovered that God had a plan in that as F.B Meyer had once pointed out that it was one of the planned training schools of God- loneliness. At that time the Lord gave her grace to extinguish all worldly ‘tapers’ such as going to the dances, theatres, playing cards, and reading love stories… simply out of devotion for her Master in putting Him first in her life. After that time, God led Isobel to go to a conference called ‘The Firs’ where she received many blessings. In one conference, she met a man who became a ‘milestone’ for her as she later said in her later call as a missionary to Lisuland. That missionary by the name of J. O. Fraser was a missionary to the Lisuland tribes and it was then that Isobel knew God’s call for her life.
From that time on, Isobel followed her Master’s call to go to foreign missions. Her first step on the way was through going to the Moody Bible Institute where she met her future husband- John Kuhn- who was also preparing for the mission field. In Bible Institute, her searchings led her to a new realization of God’s care for His children. She realized that even though her search for the Master was ended, the search for a depth into the wisdom and knowledge of God never stopped. When her time for her departure to China where her fiancé was waiting for her, she had told her friends, ‘Let us go on searching.’ She meant that we must search more and ‘Go on searching’ the love of God and what plan He had in plan for us. It is a word for us all to go on searching and exploring the greatness and the dearness of our wonderful God. So- Let us go on- Searching!


(This was taken from one of my Literature essays at school while reading Isobel Kuhn's autobiography... "By Searching". I did a bit of editing on it today from the internet link... Wikipedia.com) 
Love in Him
Joy.

3 sweet note(s):

  1. This is a great book, Joy - I found it really encouraging too! Thanks for sharing about it :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes, I really liked the book too. I did it for my Literature in year 7... and I was blessed by it!

    ReplyDelete

"Gracious words are like a honeycomb; sweetness to the soul and health to the body..." ~Proverbs 16:24

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