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Amy Carmichael :: Nor Scrip—22. Will Not the Brother Take Care of the Sister?

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Does the tale become monotonous? Very many days of His secret dealings, His private teachings, lie between each fact of help recorded, and perhaps if I uncover one such lesson in the school of faith it may help some younger learner. And because there is in most of us a tendency to expect what, for want of a better name, we call miracles to happen in the far future as they happened in the far past, rather than in this ordinary today, I will tell of one of the latest.

On June 24, 1919, we were seeking for guidance about one who, evidently called to join us, had signed herself, 'Yours in His obedience'. We had accepted her offer before we even thought of asking about ways and means. When the question rose, as of course it must sooner or later, we found £100 was required, and the circumstances were such as to cause us to face out this matter of trusting our God for His workers' needs as well as for the needs of His children. Put in that way it reads rather absurdly; but after all that was the heart of the question, and we went straight to its heart in thinking of it.

Up to that time we had not definitely faced it. Some who had need of supplies had been led to us in different ways, but in each case there had been definite guidance. Now the matter was rather this: are we to be ready for whatever new thing in this line may be shown to be the will of our God for us?

Alone with Him that morning in June my reading had been in St. Mark iii., 'And He looked round about on them which sat about Him, and said, Behold My mother and My brethren. For whosoever shall do the will of God the same is My brother, and My sister, and mother.' (Mar 3:34-35.)…'Will not the Brother take care of the sister?'

It was not a little question. It meant launching sheer off the shore. We had nothing tangible behind us; we had just God.

And now, was He asking us to trust Him for any whom He should send? Surely if that word-'the same is My sister'-meant anything (and we know His lightest word means not anything but everything), it meant He was prepared to be responsible for His obedient ones. Of the preciousness of such gifts, beside which money, however needful, looks so small, I need not write; words could not tell it.

Still looking up for direction upon this matter, and waiting for that certainty without which action is impossible, I read on through the chapters following, seeing new lines of connections running from page to page, like those wonderful, all but invisible threads, that run from cell to cell of the leaf through the delicate cell walls.

For first comes the story of the Sower. The Sower soweth the word: for the moment all sowers but Christ the Eternal moved across the field and out of sight. He sows the seed, such a seed as this new word; our part then is to make room for it, see to it that no stray bird flies off with it, no shallow-heartedness causes it to be futile in operation, no crowd of cares or delusive other things choke it. From the perils of the hard, the shallow, the preoccupied, good Lord, deliver us.

Then follows the word on the quietness of faith. As if a man should cast the seed into the ground; and should sleep and should rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how. No need to fuss and worry. No need even to understand the mystery of the how of things: he knoweth not how. And again in the storm story, chapter v. Our Lord was in the hinder part of the ship asleep on a pillow. He who slept in the boat when a great storm of wind beat upon it and it was full of water, can keep us in quietness of heart whatever our circumstances be. The Lord of peace Himself give you peace at all times, in all ways, is no phantom prayer, no mere cry of desire. God's comforts are no dreams. 'And it shall be as it were a great motion; but the place where thou standest, shall not be moved.'

And so, in simplicity, but how vitally may our lives declare, we went on learning of Him, till we came to chapter vi. with its familiar teaching, never more appropriate than now. For some had counselled us to 'reduce our numbers' (how?); to retrench in various ways (why?); and there we see the poor puzzled disciples proposing the same thing exactly: 'Send them away.' They wanted to arrange for an orderly failure, and all the time He had something so different in His heart, for He Himself knew what He would do.

And then, the miracle over, with its strange sense of exaltation of spirit, the tremendous trial of apparent forgetfulness on the part of the very Master they had seen able to provide, at a moment's notice, ready-cooked fish, ready-baked bread, and who therefore could surely have made a peaceful way for them through any wind.

'I wish and pray that the Lord would harden my face against all, and make me to learn to go with my face against a storm.' Is not that almost the last lesson of faith?

Then comes Peter with his leap out of the boat, and the Lord's way of dealing with his fear, not 'Wherefore didst thou come?' but 'Wherefore didst thou doubt?' For fear is nothing else but a surrender of the succours which reason offereth. Woes our dear Lord ever rebuke us for walking to Him upon the water? But, and this is the pith of faith of the kind we are now considering, we must be sure that He Himself, and not another, has said to us, 'Come.' 'Lord, if it be Thou, bid me come unto Thee on the water.'

In guidance, everything depends upon that If.

This lesson, so imperfectly told, was given and dated on June 24, 1919. On that same day all of us waiting together, as our custom is, became assured that the mind of our Lord had been made known. And on July 12, a friend in England who, though much loving us, knew nothing of these matters, which were kept entirely between our Lord and ourselves, wrote as follows:

'About three weeks ago' (note the date) 'I sent a cheque value £100 to the Manager of the Bank of Madras, to be placed to the credit of the Dohnavur Nurseries Account, which kindly use for the need of the moment.' This cheque therefore had been sent off close upon, if not exactly upon, the day the need for this sum had been shown to us, and the mind of our Lord made known.

Nor Scrip—21. There Is No Want in the Fear of the Lord ← Prior Section
Nor Scrip—23. Proverbs 27:27 Next Section →

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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