For years I have been wanting to read A Chance to Die, the Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael, written by one of my favorites, Elisabeth Elliott. I had owned a hardback copy and then after years of letting it collect dust, I gave it away only to regret my decision. I came across a paperback copy recently and purchased it along with a collection of Amy’s writings from her missionary journals.
What first attracted me to Amy’s life was her poetry that Elisabeth often quotes. When I discovered that Amy was a missionary briefly to Japan, then China and for the longest, India during the Victorian era, I grew more intrigued with this woman who desired nothing more than to do God’s work as her heart was torn each time she remembered Hudson Taylor’s cry of the millions who die in the darkness without ever knowing the Light of the world.
I have been reading this biography during the last week and have only made it a third of the way through its pages. But, I have been stirred by her heart for prayer, her trust in God’s answering it, and His provision as she prayed in His will.
What I write to you next comes from her in a collection edited by David Hazard entitled, I Come Quickly to Meet You. It’s from page 13 of this 2005 edition previously published as You are My Hiding Place.
“Learning to Live ‘at Home’ “
You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble
and surround me with songs of deliverance. – Ps. 32:7
“I think distractions in prayer are often because we have let ourselves wander too far from the things that matter most. And so we slip into an easily interrupted, easily distracted frame of mind. We need to live more at home. ‘In him we live and move and have our being’ (Acts 17:28). This means, simply, God is our home.
Home of my heart, lest I forget
My redemption’s cost to Thee,
Let my earliest thought be set
Upon Thy Calvary.
My Father, something inward tells me I have been living scattered. Sometimes anxious. Restless. Distracted. Wandering inside. I fix my eyes upon the cross now – upon the post and crossbeam which became my one bridge back to your side. And I lift my eyes beyond the cross, to the One who sits beside you – to Jesus, the Risen One! My Lord, my brother, with arms outstretched in welcome. Calling to me: ‘Come home.’ I come, Father, to hide myself in you.”
When I read that this morning, I was reminded again of how important it is to take everything to God in prayer: matters of the nations, concerns within our immediate and extended families, the faithfulness of the Church to preach and teach without compromise His Word and to disciple those who are new to the Body, the lost who refuse to believe or who have not heard of Jesus, and the list goes on.
Draw aside today and go to God and pray your heart and then listen to Him in quiet and solitude. Walk in obedience to what He tells you.