He makes my feet like the feet of deer,
And sets me on my high places.
– Psalm 18:33
A couple weeks ago I was reading through Psalm 18 and thinking, wow. Okay. God is definitely the most amazing Protector in the world. Like, if I were going into a battle, He’s the one I would want with me.
As I kept reading though, I was struck by something else, something that seems a little different from the rest of the chapter. Verse 33 talks about standing on high places, surefooted. Standing in a place not too many other people go. A slightly dangerous place. But being perfectly at home, because God gave me the power to be there.
One of my heroes trusted God to do that for her. She let God have her life, and He brought her to a high place.
She was born in 1867 in Northern Ireland, the oldest of seven kids. Her father died when she was just 18, and her family moved to Belfast. That’s where God first started to use her, working through her to touch the lives of girls who worked in mills and lived in slums. She helped so many people see Jesus, even while she was just a young woman. But God’s plan was even bigger than that.
She worked with several missionary organizations for a few years, and eventually went to Japan for a little more than a year. She really didn’t seem to be cut out for missions work–she was sick a lot and ended up getting stuck in bed for weeks. She ended up having to go back to England for a year. I can’t imagine how discouraging that must have been. But still…God wasn’t done.
She went back to the missions field. India. She worked around Bangalore. It was a pretty comfortable, churched area. But she didn’t feel at home there.
Then, in 1901, she finally found where she was supposed to be.
She met a little girl. Her name was Preena, or Pearl Eyes, and she had already run away from a Hindu temple twice. This temple was using young girls as a way to make money for the priests. Preena’s mother had sold her the temple.
At five years old, Preena was being “trained” for prostitution.
God used Preena to open Amy Carmichael’s eyes to what was happening in Bangalore. Amy became the catalyst for many, many rescues of temple girls. She later founded the Dohnavur Fellowship, a haven for more than a thousand children.
Who would have thought that God would take this pale-skinned, sickly girl from Ireland and turn her into someone who was literally saving lives?!
She trusted God. And she loved well. When some of her kids were asked what drew them to her, they said, “It was love. Amma loved us.”
I hope someday, I leave a legacy like Amy’s. I hope I have the courage to be willing to go the higher way, if that’s where God leads me. To trust that He won’t let my foot slip, even if He leads me to a place where someone like me has never gone. And to love with abandon, like Jesus loved me.
“Blessed are the single-hearted, for they shall enjoy much peace. If you refuse to be hurried and pressed, if you stay your soul on God, nothing can keep you from that clearness of spirit, which is life and peace. In that stillness you will know what his will is.”
– Amy Carmichael