• “Lord, may no gift of yours ever take Your place in my heart. Help me to hold them lightly in an open palm, that the supreme object of my desire may always be You and You alone. Purify my heart.” – Elisabeth Elliot

Biddy Chambers

“It is because it is felt that the author is one to whose teaching men will return, that this book has been prepared, and it is sent out with the prayer that day by day the messages may continue to bring the quickening life and inspiration of the Holy Spirit.         —B. C.” – The forward in My Utmost for His Highest

“When I consider how completely and nobly you have foregone all quiet civilised influences that other women have and have been living a literal hand-to-mouth existence all transfigured by your great love for me and Him, I must bow my head in dedication and say God bless thee!” – Oswald Chambers in a note to his wife, 1916        – One year after this note was written, Biddy became a widow.

Oswald Chambers was born in Scotland in 1874 and was educated at London’s Royal College of Art and the University of Edinburgh. Although gifted in the arts, he felt at the age of 22, that God was calling him to become a minister. After studying and later teaching in a small theological college in Dunoon, he moved into a preaching ministry that spanned Britain, America and Japan. In 1908, Oswald Chambers boarded a ship bound for America. He had been asked to look out for a young lady, who was also travelling to America in search of work and adventure.

Gertrude Hobbs (later to become Mrs Oswald Chambers) suffered annual bouts of bronchitis as a child. She left school early to help her mother at home, and to allow her older sister and brother to continue their education. She studied Pitman shorthand and by the time she was old enough to work full time, she could take dictation at the phenomenal rate of 250 words per minute – faster than most people talk! Now in 1908, she was on a ship bound for America and she was getting to know a man who intrigued her.

When the voyage ended, they parted company, but began to write to each other. They soon realised that they had deep feelings for each other and eventually they married in 1910.

Bible College

Although they both felt that it was God’s will for them to begin a Bible College, initially it seemed that this was not to be. Oswald took many regional classes, and as Biddy (Oswald’s pet name for his wife) took shorthand notes of his lectures, they realised that they could at least offer correspondence classes.

However, in early December 1910, a large house became available on Northside, Clapham Common, London. Things moved rapidly and within a very short time, Oswald and Biddy moved in, ready to welcome the first resident students.

Biddy also welcomed many missionaries and visitors to her home, which was always open to those who needed rest and recuperation. She was to continue with this ministry for most of her life.


When World War I broke out, Oswald began to feel God was calling him to move on. He wondered how he should serve his country at that time. His prayer was “Lord, I praise You for this place I am in, but the wonder has begun to stir in me – is this Your place for me? Hold me steady doing Your will. It may be only restlessness; if so, calm me to strength that I sin not against You by doubting.”

Hearing God’s call on the matter, he left London to become Chaplain to the troops in Egypt in October 1915, and Biddy and their 2½ year old daughter, Kathleen, followed in December 1915.

Biddy soon took up her ministry of hospitality and Oswald continued his teaching ministry to the troops. At first sceptical, the soldiers soon began to love and respect the Chambers family.

Oswald died of complications following an operation to remove his appendix in 1917. The telegram which his wife sent home to his family in England simply read: “Oswald, in His presence.” 100 men escorted the gun carriage bearing the coffin. Only officers were the bearers. All of them walked the whole funeral route with arms reversed – a special tribute to a well-loved and respected man. Biddy’s chosen song at the funeral was “I to the hills will lift mine eyes.”

Biddy and Kathleen

My Utmost

Biddy returned to England with her 4 year old daughter, Kathleen. She finally settled in London and began the painstaking work of transcribing her notes – taken during her husband’s lectures throughout their married life. She began to send out the transcriptions to friends and acquaintances – anyone who asked. The pamphlets were combined into book form and eventually Oswald Chambers Publications was born.

“My Utmost for His Highest” was first published in 1927, and has remained continually in print ever since. Thousands of people have been blessed and challenged as they have regularly read this daily devotional.

Biddy died in 1966, knowing that she had fulfilled the ministry which God has entrusted to her. Oswald Chambers Publications Association seeks to continue that ministry.


Searching for Mrs. Oswald Chambers by Martha Christian

Click here to watch a free documentary about Oswald and Biddy Chambers



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5 Responses to Biddy Chambers

  • Mary Long says:

    I thank you for this information. I am senior when I started reading his devotional they are so full of Life of Christ, His words applies to God word it is present in life today that speaks to the inner man of your soul. It have been 3 years, so much is said in few words.

  • Judith Harries says:

    This wonderful work came into my possession in 1988 and it has remainef open and read throughou the years. throughout my lifesince then

  • Linda Bundy says:

    At 74 I’ve been reading My upmost for his Highest well over 20 years. It always seems to spur me on to deeper holiness. I thank God for Biddys Work for her husband, Linda Bundy, Blairsville, Georgia

  • PK says:

    In an age of much good work and incessant gibberish, how precious it is to taste the incarnation of Christ in Oswald Chambers bidding us higher always to satisfy the heart of God alone. What a precious investment in His creation translating into words of spirit and life. Truly another legacy of God to the Church. I have been reading My Utmost for His Highest for over 10 years and to my amazements over the years, I discover that it is like the Bible, a spiritual treasure book opens up new dimensions into God depending on the ‘ground’ condition of my inner being. Bless Oswald and Gertrude for leaving behind a trail of fragrant bread filling the room so to speak. Above all, bless God The Master-builder showing me a glimpse of heaven.

  • Judy G says:

    I have read My Utmost for His Highest repeatedly throughout the years as a part of my devotions each morning . Lately I have been reading his biography. What an amazing man and his wife along with all the devoted servants of God during the war. Biddy was such a self-sacrificing devoted wife and mother. Oswald Chambers letters that are shared in his biography are so beautiful. To learn how these precious words were able to be put in books to encourage the hearts of Christians is simply amazing. When I sing “As the deer pants for the water…” I think of the way Mr Chambers expressed what Christian love is all about… I don’t think anyone can read his works without being spiritually changed.

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For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. — 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 (NKJV)

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