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Amy Carmichael :: Nor Scrip—17. ‘Before Ye Ask Him’

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In South India we have two building seasons; they are fitted between the two rains and the two harvests. During the two months or more of harvest, labour is double price, and during the rains of course building cannot be done. Just after our last rains we found that it was advisable to go on with the nursery building, and that for various reasons to build two together would be more economical than to build them one by one. There was money in hand which was to spare, as it would not be needed for a month or two, when the harvest bill would devour it all; but then, as I have told, in our nursery building work we always count on the sum required coming clear and whole, and not made up of small pieces. So as it was necessary to go on at once in order to do as much as possible before the harvest, which here begins in February, we very definitely asked for a special gift sufficient for that need to come soon. And the word given so clearly that we wrote it down in our logbook was this: 'Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of before ye ask Him.' If the money had not been already sent it would be too late for the season, so we took it that it was already on its way, and directed the men to go on. The date was November 22, 1920.

Next day we had occasion to go into the affair of stone, earth and wood. As the wood was bought and a good deal of stone ready, we thought that between ninety and a hundred pounds should suffice for the two rooms. The price of wood had almost doubled since we bought that good timber before the difficult months set in. The thought of that guidance so kindly definite, and the saving effected thereby, was an encouragement now. But even so, it never becomes a small thing to go into the presence of the Lord with these petitions, and on the morning of November 26, while the stars were still shining, I went to the word upon which we had been caused to hope: 'Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of before ye ask Him.' The words seemed to leap out from the page: before ye ask Him.

Five hours later a letter came with exactly the sum (£100) we had thought of as the limit of our need for those two nurseries.

'It is with a feeling of joy that I send you the enclosed cheque for £100,' wrote the giver. And she told how and when the desire to send it was laid upon her. It was several weeks before we ourselves were aware of the need, and the letter was written twenty days before we asked for it to be supplied.

'Your letter filled my heart with joy,' is a happy word just received. 'I was so very thankful to find how definitely I had been led. I wish I could send you £100 every year, but it has been taken out of capital, not income.' And the letter ends with 'heart's joy', a gift it is our Father's custom to give to His givers.

In that ancient writing, The Wisdom of Solomon, occur these beautiful words about Wisdom: 'She is a treasure unto men that never faileth…Good, quick, which cannot be letted, ready to do good, kind to man, steadfast, sure, overseeing all things.'

Surely this blessed Wisdom must walk as familiar friend with those who, sensitive to the lightest touch, can be so directed that, quick and not to be letted, their doings reach this remote little place in time to unfold the word of the Lord upon which He has caused us to trust.

What is distance to Him, or remoteness, or smallness, or unimportance? (And we are the least in our Father's house, who live at His hand in this way.) 'Wisdom reacheth from one end to another mightily, and sweetly doth she order all things.' 'In His hand are all the corners of the earth', is one of our words in Dohnavur. He can reach from the centre to the corner or from corner to corner, and truly very sweetly doth He order all things.

Is it strange then that we fear earth's limelight, do not feel the need of it rather, having through the tender grace of our God this other whose bright shining is never laid to sleep? 'For she is more beautiful than the sun and above all order of stars; being compared with the light she is found before it.'

Facts of finance, are they dry and dull, and sapless as mere sums? Oh, let the song go round the earth: 'The unfolding of His words giveth light. The love of the Lord passeth all things for illumination.' Is there any end to it?


The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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