Psalm 23 Paths of the Righteous

Day 1 of 6 • This day’s reading


The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. (Psalm 23:1–2, ESV)

Amy Carmichael was an Irish-born missionary who served in India from 1897 until her death in 1951. One night, a seven-year-old girl named Preena escaped from a nearby Hindu temple and made her way to Amy’s house. Through Preena, Amy uncovered one of the darkest secrets of India and realized this was why God had sent her there. In order to earn favor with their gods, parents would often sell their young children into a life of unspeakable horrors as temple prostitutes. 

Amy courageously protected any who came to her, which often landed her in trouble with the law. At one point, she was in danger of serving seven years for “kidnapping” children away from the temple and she was often threatened with arrest. While Amy’s work often put her in harm’s way, she mostly battled for the children in prayer. 

Over the course of her ministry, she cared for over 1,000 children. When the children were asked what drew them to Amy, they most often replied, “Amma (Tamil for ‘mother’) loved us.” 

But in 1931, at the age of 63, Amy suffered a serious fall. At first, it was thought she had broken a few bones, but over time the extent of her injury became more clear. She had permanently damaged her spine and would be bedridden the rest of her life. The reality of these new limitations was difficult for her to accept. The caregiver had become the care receiver.

He Makes Me Lie Down

For the last 20 years of Amy’s life, she was confined to her bedroom that she referred to as the Room of Peace. The rest she initially resisted, opened up new ways for Amy to extend her ministry through writing. From the Room of Peace, she wrote 35 books, countless poems, devotionals, and stories. Though she is now at rest with the Lord, her work and her words live on.

The shepherd provides his beloved sheep with rest. In our lives, our shepherd provides times of refreshment next to green pastures and still waters, and sometimes he makes us lie down and rest. Amy Carmichael reminds us that when he makes us lie down, we can still be useful. With our shepherd, we lack nothing and find true contentment in his care.