Gleaning faith-lessons from those who have gone before us in the Christian faith helps bring the truths of God’s Word to greater light and life in our own lives. This week, Leslie shares about one of her heroes of the faith — Amy Carmichael. This snapshot of Amy’s story will inspire you to love sacrificially, embrace humility, and lean into the trials in your life, knowing that trials produce “perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.”
Amy’s life could be characterized by the Scriptural motto, “…that in all things He may have the preeminence” (Col. 1:18b). When she was brought to surrender as a young woman it was full and complete. She put her hand to the plow and never looked back, deciding that, “Nothing would ever matter again except the things that were eternal.” In short, death to self’s agenda and being alive unto Christ’s agenda was the theme of her life.
If each of us would adopt that statement as our life’s purpose, it would undoubtedly change our actions, decisions, relationships, and thus, the entire course of our lives. In studying the life and legacy of Amy Carmichael, these three core principles by which Amy lived her own life can tremendously shape the influence and impact of our own.
As a young woman, Amy ministered to poor and destitute young women in Ireland. She sought to be a walking, talking picture of the Gospel by loving and serving them as if she was poor and destitute herself. She lived among them, dressed among them, and, in turn, showed them the love of Christ.
Amy deferred the praise of men in exchange for the praise of God. She wasn’t interested in receiving credit, accolades, or appreciation for her service to others. Instead she served out of love for Jesus, remembering Him as He took the towel and washed His own disciples’ feet. Although Amy had a bold personality, she practiced giving God first place and joyfully taking lowest place. As a result, many were influenced for eternity.
1. Love Sacrificially
Amy didn’t just tell people she loved them, she showed them instead. A gifted writer herself, Amy wrote the following excerpt that beautifully exemplifies sacrificial living and loving:
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.
2. Endure to the End
For the majority of her years, Amy lived an active, full, and vibrant life — pouring her life out for those around her. She remained in India until her death and encountered severe tests of faith, persecution, and the loss of many of her companions, but she never thought of giving up. It was said of her that she bought a one-way ticket to India, and indeed, she did!
However, twenty years before she died, her life took a different turn when an accident left her partially crippled and mostly bed-ridden. Instead of giving into the voice of self-pity, Amy devoted that season to writing 13 books, spent countless hours in prayer for the needs around her, and continued to teach and disciple those in her missionary compound.
It can be tempting to admire the givenness of Amy Carmichael’s life and justify in our minds that we can never attain “that level” of spiritual depth. Let us remember, that we serve the same God. Our stories may look different, but by the grace of God, we can cultivate those same principles by which she lived.
1 Corinthians 3:12-13
If you’re interested about living a passionate, Christ-centered life, join us at this year’s Set Apart Conference, or host a simulcast and learn how to stand boldly for Jesus in a time such as this! More information at SetApartGirl.com/conference!
Read a few of Amy Carmichael’s books! Here are a few of my favorites:
A Chance to Die