A devotional book from Amy Carmichael was given to me some time ago by a dear pastor friend. Amy Carmichael is one of my sister sages who departed before we had a chance to meet in person, but whom I have cherished getting to know through her volumes of poetry and inspirational writings. You can read more about her work and life here. I have felt the desire to work through these in my quiet time, and allow the statements of this great Indian Missionary to lead me to a deeper revelation of my heart, and the nobility of obedience I am called to. Over the next few days I would like to share my thoughts with you.
The book IF came into being after a long sleepless night of soul searching, Amy Carmichael writes in the forward how one evening in the mission a worker came to Amy and shared with her that one of the younger ones had missed the way of love and was going astray. Amy began to question the Lord. “Is it I? Did I fail her? What do I know of Calvary Love?” Sentence by sentence the “If’s” came almost as if spoken into her ear. They were copied and used for the Fellowship, eventually becoming a book.
“That ye may be able to comprehend what is the breadth, and length, and depth,and height, and to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge”
If I belittle those whom I am called to serve,
talk of their weak points in contrast perhaps with what I think of as my strong points;
if I adopt a superior attitude, forgetting “who made thee to differ? and what hast thou that thou hast not received?”
then I know nothing of Calvary Love.
I am coming to a greater understanding that I have nothing which has not been given me by the Father. In Genesis we see before man was created, before there was anyone to till the earth, the world is in a state of pregnancy, paused in its desire to burst forth in to life, because there was as yet no man to till the ground, and God had not sent rain upon the earth.
Gen 2:5 And no plant of the field was yet in the earth, and no herb of the field had yet sprung up; for Jehovah God had not caused it to rain upon the earth: and there was not a man to till the ground;
The divine precedent of God is all life comes from, is sustained by and returns to Him. If He doesn’t send the rain, we have no bread. This causes me to be a thankful petitioner of daily grace. If I have come to embrace this reality, and recognize my meek, and helpless position before the mercy of the Father I have no right, or authority to look downward or sideways at those I am called to serve. I have no strength but His, I have no love but His, and when I see failings, and short comings in my fellows, I realize: “but for the grace of God there go I”.
Oh Lord, keep me in the shadow of Calvary, that my eyes be not wayward and only see others through you.