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Cloud of Witnesses: Amy Carmichael


Truly, before I began blogging, I had never heard of Amy Carmichael. After reading posts from women bloggers who referred to her writings and life, my interest was sparked. I began looking for a book by her and asked around online. And then sweet Gina at Chats With An "Old Lady" sent me one! Edges of His Ways- Daily Devotional Notes by Amy Charmichael, is the book she sent me...and it has touched my heart every day as I read it. (Here's a link to a bio on Amy Charmichael)

I wanted to share this excerpt from the July 23rd entry:

Matt.20:23: Ye shall indeed drink of My cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with.

These words have been the food on which I have fed during the last three days. Some of the Lord's followers have the greatest of all surprises of joy. They are like James, who with one stroke of the sword was with the Lord. Others, like John, have set before them the long road of life. To these two for whom such contrasting experiences were appointed, this word was spoken. Both drank of the cup; both were baptized with the baptism; but there is, I think, no comparison between the two tests of faith appointed. The beloved disciple was, I suppose, the most sensitive of all to pain as well as to joy, and yet the test to which he was called was incomparably the harder. But think of the wonder of it- if by a quick, sharp release one drank of the cup, the other equally drank of it as he lived to serve. As we look back upon this "little while" it will indeed seem only a little while, and all that will matter then will be that we drank of the cup, were baptized with the baptism.

What a great point!!! "But think of the wonder of it- if by a quick, sharp release one drank of the cup, the other equally drank of it as he lived to serve."

This is the thinking of a mind set on things above not on earthly things. For to the earthly mind, one would think, "What a terrible way to die, to be beheaded. How horrific!" And that mind would avoid such a death at all costs. That earthly mind would also think, "How nice to live a long life on the earth." Our natural selves think the better of the two is to live a long time, to avoid dying. But the mind which is set on eternity says, "Oh what wonder! How wonderful that neither living long or dying horrifically is any different, but just to drink of the same cup as God Himself drank."

This heavenly mind actually sees the long-living life of service (if comparing in an earthly way) as the more arduous version of the cup of suffering we share with the Holy One. Where the quick drink of death, all-be-it horrific, is much less difficult.

This amazes me and causes me to examine my self. And I praise God as I realize I too have this joy that my earthly mind finds bizarre and wrong. I get all giddy and say, 'But think of the wonder of it...' when I know God has called me to drink of His cup of the cross in enduring service though I think the cup of a quick death would be "easier." Then I realize it's not one is easier or harder than the other, but that both are "drinking the cup," partaking in what Christ did because we are in Him.

And even more bizarre to my earthly mind is that it is actually a joy to do so because then I find that the divine nature of God really does reside in me. For only He, not me in my natural self, finds joy in partaking of suffering, whether it be in a long life of service or a quick death by the sword. It's not that His nature is masochistic- getting some twisted pleasure out of suffering and pain- NO! It's that He is all powerful. He knows that the endurance of suffering, whether it be in long living service or in bodily death, is no match for His eternal life. Therefore He endures it with joy, knowing it is not the end. And He endures it and knows this IN ME, cause He lives in me!

What a joy to know His mind, which is altogether different than mine, is now residing in me!


  1. Sheila...I just wanted to come and remind you to stop by my post tomorrow Friday for my special day and than I saw your post was a new and super amazing one from Amy so I had to take the time to read!

    Deep thoughts! Penetrating JOY and suffering or to think of joy in the suffering...WOW! Thank You Lord for
    drinking the cup and passing the blessing on to partake!

    Please drop by tomorrow! Peggy

  2. A different perspective... I never thought of it like that... I also love your heart for the Chinese people... Your love for God is apparent :)

  3. Peggy, I'm sorry for whatever reason my computer won't let me log on to your blog site. I was able to this morning and read your blogaversary post, but wasn't able to leave a comment and for whatever reason I can't even get on it now. computers!!!

    Anyway, I just wanted to say happy blogaversary to you and mostly thank you for your contagious joy in the Lord!



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