Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A Widow Who Still Helps Us Today: Biddy Chambers

On Wednesdays we share stories of widows. I love to hear from women who visit this site, and also from those who have gone before us. Today's story is from the past and probably about a lady you've never heard of, but I'll bet that you or your pastor have been blessed by her!

“My Utmost for His Highest” is one of the best known daily devotional books in the world. Although Oswald Chambers’ name is on the cover, it was actually compiled by his wife, Biddy, after his death. She was an incredible stenographer and had verbatim notes from his lectures at the Bible college they founded during the first years of their short marriage right before WWI. From her notes, she compiled the 365 devotionals that have impacted countless believers all over the world since uninterrupted publication in 1935.

Gertrude “Biddy” Hobbs and Oswald Chambers met on an ocean voyage to the United States in 1908. They corresponded after that and were married in 1910. They founded the Bible Training College in Clapham, England in 1911; their only child, Kathleen was born in 1913.

In October of 1915, Oswald Chambers left for Zeitoun, Egypt. This was during WWI and he was commissioned as a YMCA chaplain. Biddy and Kathleen joined him two months later--Biddy and the 2 ½ year old Kathleen traveling from England to Egypt during WWI. I can't imagine myself doing that, can you?! Two years later Oswald Chambers died in Egypt at age 43 from complications of a ruptured appendix. Biddy and Kathleen made their way back to England and continued in written ministry and hospitality the rest of their lives.

A young widow with a 4-year-old daughter, traveling between Egypt and England during WWI, persevering for eighteen years to transcribe and garner devotionals from her husband’s sermons to benefit others . . . WOW!

Did she know the impact her work would make on us almost 100 years later? Maybe the Lord has such a purpose for you too. Tell your own story by clicking on the comment line below. It's good for others to know you're out there and they're not alone.


  1. Hi. This post about Biddy Chambers(Hobbs) stopped me. Made me think about my story and what I am doing right now.
    My dear husband of almost 33 years, Paul, passed away 21st December 2013. I believe he is in the presence of God, that night he went, full of faith and confidence in Jesus and the relationship he had with God our Father.
    It stunned me. We had fully believed and expected Paul to be healed, here, on this earth. Me being left utterly alone was not any part of our plans.
    Slowly I have carried on, exhausted, in agony of spirit, dragging my body around, surely I can't actually be alive?
    Before Christmas I had prepared a few words for the housegroup I'm part of, as part of the fellowship I started to go to after Paul passed away.
    Since then I have been leading a discussion on the book of Revelation. This was because Paul had led such a discussion in the fellowship we were part of together. But can I find his notes?
    Discussing this with a beloved brother, he said, make it your own! So today I am in the middle of preparing for the fourth time. About 2 weeks ago I fervently prayed, God, let me die or let me live. I awoke the next day, had a pulse and decided to Praise God for His answer to prayer, I am alive. He said I have a hope and a purpose. And, He said this dirt I'm in is not burial soil, it is planting earth-and today I believe Him. I look up, from where does my help come from? It comes from the Lord. Thanks for reading, God bless you.

  2. Dear Ruth, Your comment stopped me! It made me catch my breath---this is why I do what I do--because the Lord allows me to see widows come back to life. I'm always amazed at His ways and His timing. Oh, the depth of His mercies! "...this dirt I'm in is not burial soil, it is planting earth..." He will faithfully continue to reveal His love and purpose for you, for He is good and His faithfulness reaches to all generations. amen

  3. Thank you for this beautiful article, Ferree. What an inspiring story. Also thank you, Ruth, for your wonderful testimony and comments.


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