Saturday, April 28, 2007

Monarch Wings

Amy Carmichael saved children from temple prostitution in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. I am slowly reading her Gold Cord. Still less than halfway through, I am consistently amazed by the conviction and encouragement I receive from its pages.

As some of you know, I have felt called to do something in the area of human trafficking, and helping women and children victimized in that way and in others. There is such a lack of resources in this area.

Although Amy’s fellowship never really worried for money or other resources, there were times when things got tight and one brief moment they started to pursue a path not intended.

He is faithful that promised. He quickens the dead and calls the things that are not, as though they were.

We say, then, to anyone who is under trial, give Him time to steep the soul in His eternal truth. Go into the open air, look up into the depths of the sky, or out upon the wideness of the sea, or on the strength of the hill that is His also; or, if bound in the body, go forth in the spirit; spirit is not bound. Give Him time and, as surely as dawn follows night, there will break upon the heart a sense of certainty that cannot be shaken. These hundreds of pounds (or thousands for that matter), they will come. For the work that He has commanded they must come. Only, O God of heaven and earth, keep us from going one foot beyond the way of Thy commandment.

What the Tamil call the sap of the matter lies in that last sentence, and at the risk of repetition we underline it here. No master is responsible for uncommanded work. We find it necessary constantly to ask for a spirit of wisdom and penetration through an intimate knowledge of Him, so that, the eyes of our understanding being enlightened, we may know what we ought to do, and never, through carelessness in waiting upon Him, pledge Him to do what He did not intend should be done.

For the moment, I am again content in my cloudy vision of what my role will be. I am willing to be used – but today have had to admit there are still areas I balk at. I am making myself available – but realize I am keeping myself too busy to be wholly so.

I feel like one of the monarch butterflies we watched emerge last year. When their time in the chrysalis is over, their body is completely changed from the caterpillar they used to be, but not yet how they will look when they’re ready to fly. Their wings are a very fragile, wet mess on their backs, and need time to dry. As they become dry enough, the butterfly needs to move them, like flexing. This pumps the necessary fluid from their still puffy bodies into the wings. With each opening and closing, the wings become stronger and more capable of flight.

My wings are still damp. And need the strength of consistent prayer and time in the Word. Quiet time, still time. Time to receive the strength they need.

Don’t neglect your quiet and still time. Unlike the butterfly, no matter how long we fly, we still need sheltered time alone with Him to allow us to keep flying in the face of the cares of this world. We need to pump in the strength – wisdom and confidence – that He makes available.

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