Monday, March 19, 2012

Nourishing Faith in Troubled Times

And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by Elijah. I Kings 17:16

[WWII had broken out, and there was much concern regarding the receipt of donations for the upkeep of the children. Amy Carmichael writes of the spiritual attitude and actions which buoyed their minds and hearts...]

"And yet I well remember how careful we had to be about such matters as reading and talk. (Not that there is not always need of care if the Spirit is to be ungrieved, but that this need was emphasized for us then.) For a book or a newspaper article written from the world’s point of view, or talk along these lines, had a curiously troubling effect, and so had ‘religious’ reading of the nerveless sort, common enough everywhere. It was as if such had nothing in it for the nourishment of the kind of faith required for this particular way of the Lord.

But to read strength was to be strengthened. Science that makes God’s thoughts visible to men, all forms of noble biography and poetry, converse with those who do business in great waters and see, and expect to see, the works of the Lord and His wonders in the deep, above all, to breathe the atmosphere of the Book of books itself, was life and joy and confidence. Fed thus, the fibers of faith were nourished with food convenient.

So we went on, keeping our contracts, using the money sent for nurseries for that purpose only, and with the other gifts continued our search for children in danger, and supplied the needs of the work, supplementing them once and again from the savings provided beforehand. Living upon our balance is doubtless the accountant’s way of putting it, but we prefer our way, which after all is quite as true as his. And no one, workman or child, had ever the shadow of a cause to feel forgotten of the Father.

Once a crowd of people came round the one who was buying milk.

‘We hear there is not enough money coming to buy food.’ (A good deal of what comes is known to the village as it passes through the village post–office, so they knew there was very little.)

‘Of that I have heard nothing,’ was the Indian woman’s answer, ‘only I know all the milk that is required is still being bought and paid for, as you yourselves are witnesses. And I have not heard of any child being unfed.’

So the people went away saying, ‘Their God feeds them.’ Later they came again, and this time with fresh stories of what was going to happen in Europe. It was the time of the submarine trouble, and the bazaars were full of whispers. Two mails had been lost and more might be. ‘And what will you do then?’ We told them in plain words that we believed if need arose the crows would fly to us with food or the ground would be white with rice–cakes in the morning. ‘When the mail stops coming, come in and see it,’ we told them. And they wondered and went away.

When the war ended not a workman or a coolie had been kept waiting a day for his pay, not a child had ever hungered, all twelve nurseries which had been our dream in 1913 were built and filled, a wall nearly a mile long was built, the Forest place was found and bought, and a house was built up there. And we still had in savings, as a later page will show, Rupees 2,164.3.0.

Thus, to revert to an older story, we poured from our pot of oil, and as we poured, more came to pour, according to the custom of the Lord.

NOR SCRIP by Amy Carmichael Pgs. 40-42

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