William Carey who lived from 1761 to 1834 is known as "the father of modern missions." He started as a British shoemaker who felt a deep burden for the nations of the world. He made a globe map of the world out of leather, tacked it up on his wall, and then, while he worked on shoes, he prayed for the nations. Eventually, the Lord made it possible for William Carey to go to India as one of the first missionaries to that land.
But while Carey labored in India translating and printing parts or all of the Bible into forty languages, his sister Mary lay on her back in London and prayed hour after hour, month after month, for all the details, problems, and struggles of her brother's work. As she grew older, she was increasingly affected by a degenerative disease of the spine, but every day for 52 years, she faithfully prayed for her brother. For thirty-one of those years, she could not speak.
Chronic illness is a heavy cross to bear. Mary was financially dependent upon her brother and physically dependent upon her sister's family for her entire adult life. But she was emotionally dependent upon the Holy Spirit, who enabled her to think beyond her own difficulties and care for others. Her pastor often said of her, "Her work in her affliction, in its way, was as great as that which her great brother wrought."
Thank You, that the life laid upon Your altar as a living sacrifice will never be squandered.
"Offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-this is your spiritual act of worship" (Romans 12:1).