Truth and Beauty

Inspiration from the Lives of a Godly Couple
Oswald and Biddy Chambers

 Oswald and Biddy Chambers

         Oswald Chambers (1874-1917) was a devoted man of God who during his short life inspired many with his Bible teaching, preaching, and personal ministry. He spent the last two or three years of his life in Egypt to minister as chaplain to soldiers during World War I. Thousands had found solace in his messages and turned to Christ. 

         After Oswald’s untimely death from appendicitis complications, his faithful widow, Biddy, who recorded most of his lectures and presentations in shorthand, progressively retyped, edited and published his words – both poetry and prose – in the form of articles and books. By the end of her life in 1966, there were 50 books in Oswald’s name as well as a great number of smaller publications. These continue to be as relevant as ever, giving many today inspiration, comfort and encouragement. 

         The following reflections and tips for Christian living have been gleaned from a biography of Oswald Chambers authored by David McCasland. 


·       “The one right thing is to be a believer in Jesus Christ.” Be that pre-eminently. Live life in the light of eternal realities and praise God for the reality of unseen things and for the work he has given you to do.” 


·       Keep mindful of the true Source of life – Jesus Christ. Our relationship with him is a reminder that the best is yet to come. 


·       When uncertain what to do, remain where you are and allow God to providentially shape your circumstances.  


·       Trust God and do the next thing. Refuse to worry. 


·       Sometimes God’s will becomes clear through the haphazard circumstances of life. (Oswald was nicknamed by some “the apostle of the haphazard”.) 


·       God often works in spontaneous but surprising ways. Even in the face of a setback, wait to see what God will do next. 


·       Be in tune with God’s guidance and never keep an enterprise going just because it is doing well if it is clear that God is leading elsewhere. 


·       Lay out each day like an amount of money and spend the hours for God. 


·       Stay true to Christ even in the face of overwhelming temptations – be absolutely his, putting him first in everything. (Oswald loved and obeyed his Master without question above everything else.) 


·       Even in horrible and incomprehensible situations, the loving compassion of Christ can be seen – in peace, consolation and a sense of divine presence. The Bible encouragingly promises that God will never fail or forsake us. Ultimately, all things – even tragedy – will work for God’s glory. 


·       After Oswald’s untimely and unexpected death, which came as a shock and shattered the faith of some who had been close to him, Biddy felt a connection and oneness with her beloved. Her life was still intertwined with his. One of Oswald’s assistants saw him in a vision and was encouraged to go on in faith. 


·       Go on praying and believing and we will find that God is doing wondrous things all the time. 


·       With uncertain future, there is first God’s plan to be lived and then we can safely leave everything to God, being “carefully careless” about it all. 


·       “Do your work; don’t let your work cling to you. The latter impedes you, while the former expresses you.” 


·       Oswald Chambers lived by the maxim of “give to all who ask.” Following his example, many of the books that his widow published were given away for free with the intent being to help people rather than to sell books. While busy with typing and editing, Biddy always put people first, serving in kindness those who needed her time. 


·       Biddy believed in the power of the printed word – it was like casting bread upon many waters. She saw her mission as spreading greater understanding of the Word of God and felt that many in the future would return to it and be uplifted. 



David McCasland,
Oswald Chambers: Abandoned to God. The Life Story of the Author of “My Utmost for His Highest”, Discovery House Publishers, Michigan, 1993. 







Australian readers may find good values at Fishpond which sells discounted books and delivers them postage-free.