Don’t be deceived my brothers. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so, through Him, the “Amen” is spoken by us, to the glory of God.
James 1:16-17; 2 Cor. 1:20
Wishes that become clouds
I had asked the doctor how long it would be before I could get back to my work. He said I must be in splints for eight weeks, and I had taken this to mean I would be well in eight weeks. [And even that time looked like eight years to look forward to.]
I never dreamt of what really lay ahead…
For some days the pain was dulled; then it came on with a severity that was to last for many weeks [and in one form or another, for months]. Then came a day when I was opened to a new and deeper experience of the Lord’s presence with me.
It began when I read a heretofore not much noticed word, from Psalm 105:18. Speaking of Joseph, the psalmist writes, “[his] feet they hurt with fetters; he was laid in iron.” Curious, I looked up this verse in a Greek translation of the Hebrew text, where a commentator rendered a different view of this scripture: “Joseph’s soul entered into iron – entered, whole and entire in its desire to obey God, into the cruel torture.”
My soul was not in “cruel torture,” but my foot was badly hurt. And as I lay there, unable to move, it came to me that what was asked of Joseph [in a far greater degree] was asked of me now. Would I merely “endure it,” praying for the grace not to make too much over my poor circumstances? Or would my soul willingly enter into the iron of this new and difficult experience?
There could only be one answer to that. And when on the following Sunday evening a word was given from Philippians 1:13 – “My bonds in Christ” – I knew that all was well indeed…
So there could be nothing but peaceful acceptance. And when one accepts, then all that is included in the thing accepted is accepted too – in my case, the helplessness, the limitations, the disappointments of hope deferred, the suffering.
I now know this is important in keeping our spiritual atmosphere clear. For if we let even a fugitive wisp of a cloud float across our sky [in the form of a wish – that is, a wistful thought that things were different!] then the whole sweet blue of our spirit is swiftly overcast.
But if we refuse that wisp of cloud…! If we look up and meet the love of the Lord that shines down on us, and say to Him about that particular detail of the trial, “Dear Lord, yes…”
Then in one moment, our sky is blue again.
My Father, I will say – no matter what shadows of circumstance blow my way – you are my Father of Lights. Coming down from heaven are good and perfect gifts to me…
All the promises of your love and goodness are still… Yes! and Amen!
Amy Carmichael, Rose from Brier: 2