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Amy Carmichael: A Chance to Say "No" to Yourself
I want you to welcome the little difficult things
In this letter, Amy Carmichaelencourages me to welcome the little difficulties in my life as opportunities to grow stronger in what she calls: doing and enduring. Our Father, she writes, loves us too much to let us pass through life without learning to endure. She ends by recommending a simple and swift form of prayer.
Which is harder, to do or to endure?
I think to endure is much harder, and our Father loves us too much to let us pass through life without learning to endure: So I want you to welcome the little difficult things, the tiny prick and ruffles that are sure to come almost every day.
For they give you a chance to say "No" to yourself, and by doing so now will become strong not only to do but also to endure…
…I have splendid words to give you. They are from the first verse of Psalm 46 — a very present help. Our loving Lord is not just present, but nearer than thought can imagine, so near that a whisper can reach Him.
You know the story of the man who had a quick temper … His habit was to send up a little telegraph prayer, "Thy sweetness, Lord!", and sweetness came.
Do you need courage? "Thy courage, Lord!"
Patience? "Thy patience, Lord"
Love? "Thy love, Lord!"
A quiet mind? "Thy quietness, Lord!"
Shall we all practice this swift and simple way of prayer more and more? If we do, our Very Present Help will not disappoint us. For Thou, Lord, hast never failed them that seek Thee.
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Amy Carmichael was a Christian missionary and medical missionary who served in India for 55 years. She was born in Ireland in 1867 and devoted her life to missionary work in India, establishing a network of homes for rescued children. She was also an author and wrote many books on her work and Christian life. Her best-known quote is "You cannot give what you haven't got". This reflects her deep belief that if we wish to help others, we must first fill our own lives with faith and compassion.
Carmichael, Amy. Candles in the Dark: Letters of Amy Carmichael. United States: CLC Publications, 2012.