As I opened the book and read, she reminded me. A beautiful voice from the past, she spoke truth to my heart this morning.
This is why I read. This is why I write.
In her writing, she speaks tenderly, as one who is well acquainted with grief and pain. She speaks forcefully, as one who is learning alongside me... to trust, to surrender, to expect Jesus in her life.
Have you ever read a book and wondered if this book was written just for you? Every time I pick up this book, Rose from Brier by Amy Carmichael, I am certain that it was written for me... some 80 years ago. How did she know what I was feeling? How did she know exactly what I would need to hear today? (I would recommend it for anyone who walks with long term illness or pain).
Amy Carmichael, my friend whom I have never met, spoke words to my heart this morning. She spoke, through time past, a blessing over me... "Jesus Himself draw near and walk with thee".
She reminded me that Jesus told His disciples that He would never fail or forsake them. She studied those words "fail and forsake" in the Greek for me and reworded that famous verse saying, "I will in no wise desert you or leave you alone in the field of contest or in a position of suffering. I will in no wise let go my sustaining grip".
We have a family tradition in our home. Often, sometimes nightly, we whisper into our children's ears, "No matter where you go. No matter what you do. No matter who you become, I will always love you." These are sweet, special words that surround our kids with love.
But, we can't ...we simply can not tell them, "No matter where you go, I will always be with you." This, alone, God can say.
I will always be with you. Always. I will in no wise desert you.
With these words, my spirit rose up and my heart widened enough to let Him in, inviting Him to reign again. I stood up with a renewed mind and a strength that comes from Him alone.
With all the craziness of packing, and planning, and cleaning, and leaving... I needed these words today. Into my sacred spot, ---my quiet chair---...the place I leave for a few months..., He reminded me that it isn't about the "spot". It doesn't matter where I go, He is always there--- beside me, near me, around me and within me.
And, I recall words I read just last week from A.W. Tozer,
"God is here. Wherever we are, God is here. There is no place, there can be no place, where He is not. Ten million intelligences standing at as many points in space and separated by incomprehensible distances can each one say with equal truth, God is here. No point is nearer to God than any other point. It is exactly as near to God from any place as it is from any other place. No one is in mere distance any further from or any nearer to God than any other person is." (The Pursuit of God)
Stephanie, God's Spirit whispers into my heart, I am always with you. Draw near. Come and follow me. Seek Me first and all other things shall be added. Watch and wait. I will never leave you. I will never fail you. Wherever you go, I will always be with you.
My heart has heard you say, "Come and talk with me". And my heart responds, Lord I am coming! Psalm 27:8
My reader, my friend, I speak to you this morning, May Jesus Himself draw near and walk with you!