Thursday, March 11, 2010

Devotional -Snapshot 37 - Suffering

"Nothing was ever made easy for her. She was too precious to spoil by the easy." Amy Carmichael Let the Children Come Lois Hoadley Dick

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 5:3-10

I finished another book on Amy Carmichael who began orphanages and schools for children in India. After reading about the deep struggles for the souls of men, women, children; the loss of so much life; the painful suffering from disease; lack of sleep; I asked "Why Lord?". Where was the blessing for Amy who traveled one thousand miles to save a baby only to have it die in her arms five days later? Where was the blessing when Ponnamel, a beloved Indian friend trained for leadership, dies a slow death from cancer? What blessing when Kohila, saved as a child by Amy from temple prostitution, trained as a head nurse, fell to her death from a mountainside?

Matthew 5 comes alive -blessed are the poor in spirit, those who mourn, meek, thirst for righteousness, merciful, pure in heart, peacemakers, persecuted -Amy was all of these. I look at what You promised Amy, Ponnamel, Kohila -the kingdom of heaven, comfort, inherit the earth, filled, shown mercy, see God, called sons of God, great reward. It was all worth it for them.

The last twenty years of Amy's life were filled with constant pain.

On one of her worst days, Amy imagined the Lord saying to her, "It is finished."...Regret flooded her soul. "Thou wouldst say, So soon? Let me go back and suffer yet awhile More patiently: I have not yet praised God." Amy Carmichael Let the Children Come pg. 154

The pain was worth it for Amy because she would see God -His comfort, His presence. All pain is worth it. Amy experienced the comfort of God like most of us do not, because she suffered. Blessed are those who suffer for Jesus for they shall be comforted by Jesus.

I have to admit, I have not suffered like that. I whine too easy about the smallest things. Little by little, Lord, change our hearts to embrace all You have for us. What are your sufferings that you can lift up to God?

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