Summer is, for many of our members, a season for overseas missions. And as summer quickly approaches, I felt it would be encouraging to share a few glimpses into the writings of missionary Amy Carmichael, a woman who gave her life to see the Gospel shared amongst poor women and children in India. The question that must be answered is “Why?” Is it for an experience? Is it pity for lost souls? Is it to grow in grace? The awful realities of heaven and hell and a great white throne? I discount none of these, for all of these should compel us. But allow me to suggest that there is a greater vision: the glory of God.
"I am the Lord, that is My Name, and My Glory will I not give to another, neither My praise to graven images."
Yet the men He made to glorify Him, instead take His Glory from Him, and give it to another. The sin of this act, the shame, then calls with a low, deep under-call through all the other calls. God's Glory is being given to another. Do we love Him enough to care? Or do we measure our private cost, if these distant souls are to be won, and, finding it considerable, cease to think or care?
"Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? Behold and see"—
"They took Jesus and led Him away. And He, bearing His cross, went forth into a place called the place of a skull . . . where they crucified Him."
"Herein is love . . . God so loved the world."
Have we been petrified past feeling? Can we stand and measure the cost now?
"I know that only the Spirit, Who counted every drop that fell from the torn brow of Christ as dearer than all the jewelled gates of Paradise, can lift the Church out of her appreciation of the world, the world as it appeals to her own selfish lusts, into an appreciation of the world as it appeals to the heart of God. O Spirit, come and lift us into this love, inspire us by this love. Let us look at the vision of the Glory of our God with eyes that have looked at His love!”*
The beauty of missions is that, even if it is brief, it is an opportunity to move past the idolatry of self and comfort, and into the vision and glory of God. To bear witness of Him, and to see Him be glorified. If you are on the fence — then go. If you have no plans for the summer — then go. If you anticipate hours of simply pleasure seeking, eating, drinking — then go. Some will say you can spend your time or money better. Some will say you are simply not needed. Some will theologize it and say “God has no need of you.” I would say the devil whispers the very same thing into the hearts of thousands, and so the laborers continue to slumber. Pray, and obey!
“For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.” (2 Corinthians 5:14–15)
*Carmichael, Amy. Amy Carmichael 8-in-1 (Illustrated). Things as they Are, Lotus Buds, Overweights of Joy, Walker of Tinnevelly, Ragland Pioneer, Ponnamal, Continuation of a Story, From the Fight (Kindle Locations 3536-3548). Kindle Edition.