“…and I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love surpasses knowledge…” Ephesians 3: 18
The Silent Cry
If you are struggling this morning in some way that you do not understand…this blog is for you…
Recently, a stranger placed a small book in my hand written by Amy Carmichael (a missionary to India 1867-1951). Immediately, upon hearing her name, a vivid memory came knocking at the door of my heart.
While we were in Boot Camp in Fredonia (make that "Freeze-don't ya", Wisconsin!), preparing for missionary service, I became so sick that I wasn't sure we would be able to finish the course. Yet, my husband and I knew God had brought us this far. There was a tribe, deep in the rain forest of Panama that had never heard the name of Jesus Christ and they were waiting for someone to come and bring His Name to them.
We had been seeking medical help for over two months. I was in my first trimester with our first child. My physical symptoms were severe, I had lost six weeks of missionary training, beginning to lose the training I had already received, and then I was diagnosed with an unyielding case of pneumonia! The infection was suffocating my compromised lung, and I would have to take a drug that could adversely affect my unborn child! The choice was my recovering or the possibility of both of us not going full term! I was confused and consumed by fear.
Have you ever been there? Faced with impossible decisions and lost in your imaginations?
At this juncture of my journey, someone gave me a quote of Amy Carmichael that stopped me in my tracks and caused me to realize I had the concept of my Father's love and means of communication to me all wrong!
“If I cannot catch the ‘sound of the rain’ long before the rain falls, and going to some hilltop of the spirit, as near to my God as I can, have not faith to wait there with my face between my knees, though six times or sixty times I am told ‘there is nothing’ till at last ‘there arises a little cloud out of the sea’ then I know nothing of Calvary love!"
1 Kings 18: 41 says, “And Elijah said to Ahab, ‘Go, eat and drink, for there Is the sound of heavy rain’. So Ahab went off to eat and drink, but Elijah climbed to the top of Carmel, bent down to the ground and put his face between his knees. “Go and look toward the sea”, he told his servant. And he went up and looked. “There is nothing there’, he said. Seven times Elijah said, ‘Go back!’ The seventh time the servant reported, ‘A cloud as small as a man’s hand is rising from the sea’…The sky grew black with clouds, the wind rose, a heavy rain came…’”
I felt a little like Elijah may have felt when he was in danger for his life. Why didn’t I understand? I should, shouldn’t I? I was a missionary candidate (soon to be deployed!), I had spent a year at the University of Arizona, 4 years of Bible School, 2 yrs. of Boot Camp and Language School...I was completely committed to God with everything I knew, in all the light I had. But God always has much to teach me about Himself. I waited for Him at the front door of my heart and He silently entered through the back door and shattered my concept of Him and His promises! He came with new light, new peace and new understanding of His divine nature. I re-focused, solely, on the author and finisher of my faith.
“There are times when something comes into our lives which is charged with love in such a way that it seems to open the Eternal to us for a moment...it may be a small and intimate touch, as the touch of the dawn wind, or it may be the pain experienced in the storm of life along the way... But we know it is our Lord. And then perhaps the room where we are, with its books and furniture and flowers, seem less ‘present’ than His presence, and the heart is drawn into His sweetness… Can we ever cease to wonder at the love of our companion? And then suddenly we recognize our Lord holding us in a new way? Dimness seems to be more wholesome for us here...not understood by us. After all, how little we see! Confounded and abased, we continue to hold fast to the Rock and hide in the dust, before the glory of the Majesty of love--the love whose symbol is the Cross."
And the piercing question then: What do I know of Calvary love?”
I am praying for you, this morning, for your sensing the whisper of His Presence in that "cloud out of the sea" in a new way and for the power of His healing.