Amy Carmichael’s Example of Faithfulness to Christ in the Little Things

Note from Randy: My friend Josh Howeth is pastor of Gresham Bible Church, a wonderful fellowship near us, which our daughter Angela, son-in-law Dan, and grandsons Jake and Ty are part of.  Josh recently sent these words to his church. I share his deep appreciation for Amy Carmichael, so I asked him if I could pass them on to you.

Here are two biographies of Amy to check out. A Chance to Die: The Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael by Elizabeth Elliot, and a children’s biography of Amy: Amy Carmichael: Rescuer of Precious Gems (Christian Heroes: Then & Now).

This video about Amy and The Dohnavur Fellowship is also wonderful.

Amy Carmichael is a favorite missionary of mine. 

She was an Irish missionary who served in India during the first half of the 20th century. She opened an orphanage and served faithfully (without a furlough) for 55 years. Amy really was a giant in the faith. I highly recommend her short biography, Amy Carmichael: Beauty for Ashes, that is written by the great Iain Murray.

She had an ability to say things that would stick with others. 

She said things like:

“Faithfulness in little things is a very great thing.”

Christians mature “by little bits of will; little denials of self; little inward victories; by faithfulness in very little things. They became what they are...There is no sudden maturity. There is only the work of the moment.”

“Let nothing be said about anyone unless it passes through the three sieves: Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary?”

I don’t admire Amy because she had a magnetic personality, or because she accomplished big things, or because she transformed an entire nation or culture. (She did none of those things). 

I admire Amy because she was faithful. She was known for her faithfulness. Through the comings and goings of other workers (whether through death or departure), she remained. She loved others sacrificially, shared the message of Christ, and was a light in the darkness.

I chose the three quotes above because they seem to be modeled in Amy’s life and because they are aspirational and grounding in my own. Truly, quotes like these cut through the noise in my life. 

During our days here on earth it really is the little things, the unnoticed things, the work of the moment, that shapes us overtime. It’s even the words we speak (in public or private) and whether we use discretion and wisdom that reflect the Spirit of Christ in us. 

There really aren’t a lot of big moments in life. But there are a lot of little moments. There is no sudden maturity. There is only the moment. 

Amy writes, “We become what we are.” The question we need to be asking ourselves through our little moments then, is “Who am I becoming?” 

Faithfulness to Christ in the little things is a very great thing to be sure.