3 Reflections on the Life of Amy Carmichael

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Big J and I finished listening to Amy Carmichael the other day and I am still blown away by her life. Little D listens too but he can’t offer any input yet. 😉

Amy Carmichael was an Irish girl living in Belfast, Ireland in the late 1800’s. She was a spirited young lady and got herself into trouble one night after concocting the idea to stay up after curfew.

There was a comet traveling through the sky that night and she didn’t want to miss it. It turns out her teachers and principal didn’t want to miss it either so she and her roommates got caught.

She was a typical person, living life for herself, when there came a pivotal moment that would thrust her into living her life fully for God.

3 reflections on the life of Amy Carmichael

She was walking home from church one day and she saw a homeless woman struggling to walk in the snow. Her and her siblings went over to help her but she was embarrassed about it. But during the time helping the homeless woman, she heard a voice say “Gold and silver. Hay and stubble.” She knew this was a passage from the bible talking about how our works here on earth will be tested with fire in the end.

In that instant she wasn’t embarrassed anymore. She held her head high and was proud to be able to help the woman.

She went home after that and looked up the verse in the bible. She found the words she had heard in 1 Corinthians 3:13. …”each ones work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.” She decided from that moment on she would do what God had called her to do regardless of what other people thought.

Her life from there lead her to England, China, Japan and finally India. Amy helped about 140 men, women and Indian children find refuge in her home in India. Most of whom she helped were little Indian girls. Little girls were brought to her instead of being offered to the gods to become temple prostitutes.

She died peacefully in her sleep at age 83 and was buried in the family cemetery called God’s garden. She had no head stone just a bird bath placed over where she was laid and the word “Amma” inscribed on it. The Indian word for mother.

These are some of the things I came away with after listening to her story…

Not all Christians are on the same path you are.

This one is kind of hard for me to grasp. If Christians are at the same place at the same time they should be doing to same work, right? This is wishful thinking on my part.  I also feel this was Amy’s thinking as well because she was confused by other Christians not wanting to do work for God. There would be a need and the groups of Christians that Amy was with would just shrug their shoulders when they couldn’t think of anyone to help those in need.

God can only do His work through me if I allow Him to. He can only use as much of me as I give Him. And when He is calling me to do His work and I can’t get upset or frustrated that He isn’t making others around me to do the same work.

Just like He doesn’t force me to do His bidding I can’t force others to do His work. I don’t know what God is teaching you, unless you tell me, so I can’t expect us to be doing the same work.

God will provide

I know this seems ridiculous to point out or even talk about but I feel we need to remind ourselves of this. God. Will. Provide. And miraculously.

If God has a work for you to do then He will make it happen. Against all odds. I was reminded of the verse in James that says, “You do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.” (James 4:3 NKJV)

How many times have I asked God for something because it was just something I wanted? How many times do I ask for something that has nothing to do with the work that He is calling me to do?

Again, I can’t speak for everyone, but I can see what prayers God answers and which ones he doesn’t manifested in the lives of those who pray to Him.

When Amy asked God for something that would help take care of others, God provided. Amy wanted to build a building for the factory girls where she lived. She had been meeting with them at her church but the congregation began to complain to the pastor that the lowlifes were meeting in their church. When the pastor wouldn’t listen, annoyed congregants started complaining to Amy. So Amy began to ask God for money for a building for them to meet in instead of her church.

Amy trusted God to provide and He did. God provided the money and the land for the building. God provided in many other ways exactly what Amy needed because it was to help bring others to Him.

Lastly, her life is one I want to emulate

We have examples in the bible of great men and women of faith but I think I have fallen prey to the idea that that was then and this is now. That God somehow changed how He works just because we, as a society, have changed. But I am reminded through the example of Amy and other Christians in the more recent years that God still works in dramatic ways if we let Him. And maybe in some more subtle ways than we realize but that’s for another post.

Obviously, Jesus is our perfect example of the faith that we should have but I also take encouragement in the lives of other believers examples as well.

Amy Carmichael was a single woman all of her life because she cared more about serving God than finding a husband. How I wish I had listened, really listened, when I was single and wanting to be married so badly. I wondered how many opportunities I missed because all I cared about was looking for “the one”.

She also cared more about serving God than what anyone else thought. How much time do I waste thinking about what others are thinking about me or how they are treating me when I could be throwing myself into God’s work. What could I be accomplishing for Him?

I have several more audio books of the books, “Christians Heroes: Then & Now” and I can’t wait to hear their stories of how God worked in their lives. I want to live the kinds of lives that these believers did and I gladly call them my Heroes. I am excited to listen to what heroic things that God called them to do. And I pray that I am up for the same challenge.

Thanks for reading and I hope you look more into the life of Amy Carmichael for yourself!

Who has been really inspiring to you? Tell me in the comments below!