I discovered this Amy Carmichael quote after I’d already written about Psalm 25:10 — and true to my original thoughts on pithy quotes, she summarizes in a few profound sentences what it took me many paragraphs to say.
Amy Carmichael (1867-1951) walked a different path from most of us. She lived 55 years in Dohnavur, India, where she rescued hundreds of young girls who’d been given, captured, or sold as prostitutes for Hindu temple priests. Amy suffered all those years from neuralgia’s intense physical pain, yet never returned to England, so committed was she to the extreme needs of the young girls, and later boys, in her orphanage. As is always true, the weighty purposefulness of the life she lived adds weight to the words she wrote. In this quote, she ponders the meaning of Psalm 25:10, which says:
“All the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness.”
“… I have pondered this verse lately, and have found that it feeds my spirit. All does not mean “all – except the paths I am walking in now,” or “nearly all – except this especially difficult and painful path.” All must mean all. So, your path with its unexplained sorrow or turmoil, and mine with its sharp flints and briers – and both our paths, with their unexplained perplexity, their sheer mystery – they are His paths, on which He will show Himself loving and faithful. Nothing else; nothing less.”
Your Father means for you, as he did for her, to believe His anxiety-slaying, fear-smashing promises. No matter your path, He’s designed its direction and difficulty with you in mind, all so that you’d know His sure love and constant care. He means for you, deep within your spirit, to rest on this: Not just some, but all the paths He plans for you are laid out so that you’ll experience His steadfast love and faithfulness.
Nothing else. Nothing less.
All must mean all.
(For more encouragement from Psalm 25:10 and the truth that all must mean all: All the paths of the Lord.)