Last summer, I had the privilege of going on a weekend retreat with a dear friend of mine. We listened to a recorded tape series by author Elisabeth Elliot. She had written a book called “A Chance to Die” about the life of missionary Amy Carmichael. Elisabeth spoke to us about suffering, and how Amy’s life and writing had shaped her own. One of Amy’s poems has special significance to Elisabeth, “Make Me Thy Fuel”. Elisabeth and Amy taught us about suffering well; how to draw near to God and trust Him in the midst of it. Something she said stuck with me: “God makes the soul tempered steel”. This was my take away as I considered how God was refining and strengthening me through all my family had been through in the last year.
After the retreat, I wanted to bless my friend with some kind of memento from the weekend. Her life has impacted mine in a way similar to these women. I felt connected with her and these women who walked before us in the Lord with such wisdom, dignity, beauty, strength. I began to think of ways I could do this. This led to watching videos online about acrylic and mixed media painting (which I know nothing about!). I wanted to make a picture that looked like the words were coming out of the fire. The piece below was my second attempt, which I gave to her as a gift!
This morning, I offer Amy’s poem to you as a gift. It fits perfectly within the theme of mining our faith. I pray it blesses you with strength and hope as you trust Him in your circumstances and suffering.
Make Me Thy Fuel
From prayer that asks that I may be
Sheltered from winds that beat on Thee,
From fearing when I should aspire,
From faltering when I should climb higher,
From silken self, O Captain, Free
Thy soldier who would follow Thee.
From subtle love of softening things,
From easy choices, weakenings,
(Not thus are spirits fortified,
Not this way went the Crucified,)
From all that dims Thy Calvary,
O Lamb of God, deliver me.
Give me the love that leads the way,
The faith that nothing can dismay
The hope no disappointments tire
The passion that will burn like fire,
Let me not sink to be a clod:
Make me Thy fuel, Flame of God.