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Amy Carmichael :: Nor Scrip—29. Nor Scrip

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'No sorrow, no pain, no death, no collection. It sounds too good to be true,' and yet all the time in our Gospel these words are written, 'When I sent you without purse or scrip, lacked ye anything? And they said, Nothing.' It was interesting to find from Deissmann that scrip means something connected in the Indian mind with the very idea of holiness, begging.

For a Greek inscription, he tells us, of the Roman period has been discovered in Syria, in which a slave of the Syrian Goddess speaks of the begging expeditions undertaken for 'The Lady'. This heathen apostle who speaks of himself as 'sent by the lady' tells how each of his journeys brought in seventy bags (the same word as that used here and translated scrip)-not bags filled with provisions and taken on the journey, but a beggar's collecting bag.

Our Lord has many ways of working. The only thing that can matter is to be obedient to what, so far as we know His will, is His word for us, and to keep to it till He directs otherwise. Surely in obedience there is strength and courage and the blessing of a quiet mind, and, with all our brethren who are walking on this road, we would look up with grateful hearts and say when He asks us, 'Lacked ye anything?' 'Nothing, our dear Master, nothing,' and tell all who listen, 'There failed not aught of any good thing which the Lord had spoken. All came to pass.'

Yes, all. Far back in memory is one little fenced-in space. The children had begun to come. After three years of vain search for a way to save them, the way was shown, and the first babies came. There was great joy in receiving them, but one day a visitor talked much about the future, the impossibility of providing for so many little girls grown up, and little girls grow up with astonishing speed. As I listened the years seemed to rush upon me, and frightened me.

For I could not controvert a single thing she said. The ways of India and the state of the Indian Church were (and are) exactly what she said they were. The difficulties ahead were (and are) as serious, as insurmountable. 'Impossible, impossible. You are undertaking an impossibility,' she kept saying, till at last the word wrote itself across the sky, and the mountains, and the green trees. Everywhere I looked I saw it.

At that time there was very little money, and just then the Evangelistic Band which was in full work needed all that was coming in. And a new baby came.

But with that new baby came a little sum apart, something evidently definitely meant to start its small career, and, being very much consoled, I asked that something henceforth might always come with new babies, as an earnest that all the need, not only for provision, but for guidance in the difficult future, and deliverance from perils and fears, would be met in full. And it has been so. Sometimes the sum is large, oftener small, but large or small we take it as our Father's assurance that the little new child is His now, His care, adopted into His family.

Times without number, so often that we did not, for we could not, record them, enough came just when required for unexpected expenses, connected with the deliverance of children, for preaching expeditions and the needs of enquirers and converts, as well as for those unforeseeable expenses which spring up, like cheerful plants sure of their welcome, in the fields of a new work. Frequent and delightful surprises of this kind of provision (for in one sense it never loses the delights of a surprise) compel the most unwilling to believe that something more than chance and coincidence explain such happy happenings. Someone unseen but intimately concerned is in command, 'must be,' as a Brahman high official said yesterday as he walked round, 'for otherwise how could all continue so to be?'

How indeed? And far more we feel it to be so when we consider those other gifts, the human blessed gifts of colleagues, Indian and English. What a story theirs would make! It is hard to refrain from it, and reading through the proofs of this poor little fragment of one, and not the greatest, of our experiences, I feel it is indeed merest fragment of fragments.

But I remember our forest and am encouraged. There, where all manner of coloured stones rejoice us, we find joy in that smallest thing, the little inconspicuous fragment of crystal, as it catches the dawn or sparkles up to the moon walking in brightness.

So we let our fragment go, to be thankful unto Him and to speak good of His Name.

CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

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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