1.19.2018

Attitude is a choice.

Amy Carmichael's name has a permanent place on my Top 20 list of godly men and women I most admire. Her passion and absolute refusal to care about what people thought when she was obeying God's calling in a unique and nontraditional manner are astounding. Her energy, hard work, and ability to accomplish more in a day than most accomplish in a month would make the strongest man groan. And her unwavering trust in the Lord is inspiring. I have read her biography three times now, and am confident I will turn the pages again in my lifetime.

I am currently reading the children's version of her story to Josiah, Isaiah, and Ellie (we are focusing on missionaries this year), and came across this excerpt. It gives a wonderful glimpse into the heart, mind, and character of Amy Carmichael. She had an unyielding opinion that Christian men and women have no business whining, complaining, being lazy, or quarreling among themselves because each one keeps the unsaved from seeing the beauty of the Gospel - and the Savior. And she led by example.

"Finally, Amy boarded the SS ____ bound for Shanghai. Unlike the other ship, this one was a nightmare, with rats, and cockroaches infesting the vessel. For Amy, it brought back memories of living in the slums of Ancoats. But instead of complaining about the conditions of the ship, Amy found a large piece of cardboard, on which she wrote the words, "In Everything Give Thanks." She placed the cardboard by her bunk where she could read it before she went to sleep every night."
The result:
"Amy lived out what she had written because she made a big impact on the captain during the voyage. He told her he had never seen a passenger who had such a positive attitude amid the poor conditions on his ship. During the trip, he questioned Amy over and over about her faith until he finally announced he wanted to become a Christian just like her. Of course, Amy was delighted, and more so when he asked her to write out some Bible verses on cardboard so he could stick them on the walls of his cabin. It was his way of announcing to the whole crew he was now a Christian."

I keep thinking about this.
There is nothing wrong with stating reality.
"Rats and cockroaches infest the ship."
"My body aches."
"Our budget is tight and there is no extra."
"My job requires long hours."
"I am still single."
"My children and grandchildren live far away."
These are facts. Truths.

But it is wrong to complain about reality. Thus saith the Lord.

Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world... Philippians 2:14, 15

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. I Thessalonians 5:18

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Philippians 4:4

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. I Thessalonians 5:16-18

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. Psalm 23:1


"But instead of complaining ... Amy found a large piece of cardboard, on which she wrote the words,
"In Everything Give Thanks."
May we all emulate the obedience of Amy Carmichael. 
For our attitude truly is - a choice.

No comments: