Moonless Trust by Elisabeth Elliott

Some of you are perhaps feeling that you are voyaging just now on a moonless sea. Uncertainty surrounds you. There seem to be no signs to follow. Perhaps you feel about to be engulfed by loneliness. There is no one to whom you can speak of your need.

Amy Carmichael wrote of such a feeling when, as a missionary of twenty six, she had to leave Japan because of poor health, then travel to China for recuperation, but then realized God was telling her to go to Ceylon. (All this preceded her going to India, where she stayed for fifty-three years.)

I have on my desk her original handwritten letter of August 25, 1894, as she was en route to Colombo:

“All along, let us remember, we are not asked to understand, but to obey….On July 28, Saturday, I sailed. We had to come on board on Friday night, and just as the tender ( a small boat ) where were the dear friends who had come to say goodbye was moving off, and the chill of loneliness shivered through me, like a warm love-clasp came the long-loved lines- “And only Heaven is better than to walk with Christ at midnight, over moon-less seas.” I couldn’t feel frightened then. Praise Him for the moon-less seas – all the better for the opportunity for proving Him to be indeed the EL Shaddai, “the God who is enough.”

Let me add my own word of witness to hers and to that of the tens of thousands who have learned that He is indeed Enough. He is not all we would ask for (if we were honest ), but it is precisely when we do not have what we would ask for, and only then, that we can clearly perceive His all-sufficiency. It is when the sea is moonless that the Lord has become my Light!

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