Amy Carmichael: Victory During Illness

God hath caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction.
Genesis 41:52b

For the last twenty years of Amy Carmicahel’s life she was an invalid, yet she remained in India as acting head of the Dohnavur Fellowship. What had begun with the rescue of one child from being sold into temple prostitution grew to orphanages and a hospital and a full-fledged compound. In Frank Houghton’s biography of her, Amy Carmichael of Dohnavur, he prefaces this section of her life with the following poem by C. A. Fox, which has been a great blessing to me:

Two glad services are ours,
Both the Master loves to bless.
First we serve with all our powers–
Then with all our feebleness.

Nothing else the soul uplifts,
Save to serve Him night and day,
Serve Him when He gives His gifts–
Serve Him when He takes away.


One day Amy received a shipment of tracts for the ill. As she read them, they just did not do anything for her. As she pondered that, she realized it was because they were written from well people telling sick people how they ought to feel. Over many years she had written notes of encouragement to various ones in the
Dohnavur Hospital (named, in the descriptive Indian way, Place of Heavenly Healing), and some of these were compiled in a book titled Rose From Brier. They are rich in their
spiritual encouragement and insight, partly precisely because they were written by one who had shared in the fellowship of sufferings.

In another of Amy’s books, she wrote the following:

This prayer was written for the ill and for the very tired. It is so easy to fail when not feeling fit. As I thought of them, I also remembered those who, thank God, are not ill and yet can be hard-pressed. Sometimes in the midst of the rush of things it seems impossible always to be peaceful, always to be inwardly sweet. Is that not so? Yet that and nothing less is our high calling. So the prayer is really for us all.

Before the winds that blow do cease,
Teach me to dwell within Thy calm;
Before the pain has passed in peace,
Give me, my God, to sing a psalm,
Let me not lose the chance to prove
The fulness of enabling love,
O Love of God, do this for me;
Maintain a constant victory.

Before I leave the desert land
For meadows of immortal flowers,
Lead me where streams at Thy command
Flow by the borders of the hours,
That when the thirsty come, I may
Show them the fountains in the way.
O Love of God, do this for me;
Maintain a constant victory.

Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.
For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.
II Corinthian 1:3-5