“So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy” (John 16:22).

Billy Graham had a great respect for missionary, Amy Carmichael, who founded a ministry to rescue young girls in India and later, as a bedridden invalid, wrote many books of compelling spiritual insights. When Graham visited Carmichael’s former home in Doahavur and stood in the simple room that had been like a prison for her, he was profoundly moved and said, “The presence of Christ was so very real to me that when I was asked to lead in prayer, I broke down and could not continue.” He asked a colleague who was traveling with him, a successful German industrialist, to pray. That man started to pray and also broke down in tears. Billy was aware that the spiritual depth and insights that Amy had shared with so many had come out of deep suffering—her own and those of so many to whom she ministered in India. “She lived her life rejoicing in the midst of tribulation.”

Amy prayed that God would calm her when the winds blew and when the pains came, she would be able to sing a psalm. She prayed she would not “lose the chance to prove the fullness of God’s enabling love.” Billy discovered that, in our suffering, God works in unexpected ways to bring us strength and joy. “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (2 Corinthians 4:17). Paul endured shipwreck, attempted executions, and brutal beatings. Only contrasted with eternal glory could his troubles be thought of as “light and momentary.”

Adapted from One Year Book of Encouragement