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Fuel for Flame

Yesterday I mentioned Amy Carmichael, missionary to India. It seems so simple to just say missionary, yet she was so much more. There are several excellent books about her life, and several books of her own writing. I urge you to look these up and learn about her. The lives of those who have gone before us can be so instructive. Whether you are reading about missionaries, statesmen, or everyday human beings, history is full of beautiful lessons and should not be overlooked as a source of inspiration every day.

Amy Carmichael was a writer of several books and a poet, and one of her poems has been of particular inspiration to me:

From prayer that asks that I may be

Sheltered from winds that beat on Thee,

From fearing when I should aspire,

From faltering when I should climb higher,

From silken self, O Captain free,

Thy soldier who would follow Thee.

From subtle love of softening things,

From easy choices, weakenings,

(Not thus are spirits fortified,

Not this way went the Crucified),

From all that dims Thy Calvary,

O Lamb of God, deliver me.

Give me the love that leads the way,

The faith that nothing can dismay,

The hope no disappointments tire,

The passion that will burn like fire,

Let me not sink to be a clod:

Make me Thy fuel, O flame of God.

What does it mean to be “fuel,” for God’s use? How can we be instruments in His hands? What does surrender look like today? These are the questions that I am asking as I reflect on these words from a missionary whose life was dedicated to rescuing children from temple prostitution and creating a safe place for them.

I am asking myself many questions these days. Our lives are more comfortable than the majority of the world’s population – especially that of India – and it begs the question of how should I live in the relative ease of my life? I don’t feel guilty: this is where God has placed me at this moment of history. I just want to be responsible with the resources with which I have been entrusted.

Amy also said: “It is a safe thing to trust Him to fulfill the desire that He creates.”. It reminds me of Proverbs 3:5,6 (my husband’s favorite verses) “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding. Acknowledge Him in all your ways, and He will make your paths straight.” Psalm 37: 4 and 5 have a similar message: “Delight yourself in the LORD; and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, Trust, also, in Him and He will do it.”

As I ponder all of these verses anew this morning, I am reminded that it never happens all at once. We don’t understand everything at one time. We take the next, best step that we can see, and then the next, and so on. I thank God for His patience with me, and His every day faithfulness. May I ever be a soldier who follows Him.

Fuel for His Flames,

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