I’m not sure about the rest of you, but I often find myself gravitating towards the writings and wisdom of certain individuals. I love reading poems by the same poets, books by the same author–once I find someone who can speak to my soul, I cling to everything they have in print and glean from it whatever I can. This has been the way I have been with the work of Elisabeth Elliot–who had the privilege of returning home to her Saviour this morning at the age of 88.
I can hardly read the story of Jim Elliot and his untimely death in the Ecuadorian jungle without balling. That faith, that unshakeable conviction, challenges me to my very core. Would I die for what I believe? Would I literally spend myself so that others could have a chance to know about Jesus? But what gets to me the most is the way his wife Elisabeth carried on after him. The way she rose from her grief and set out for the jungle, and served the very men who murdered her husband. That kind of strength is beyond my understanding. When the world would have told her to harbour bitterness and resentment, she followed the example of Jesus and loved to the very end of herself.
And today Heaven rejoices to gain the presence of Elisabeth Elliot, and we are left with her wisdom, her testimony, and her incredible challenge to live up to the Spirit that is in us as Christians. No other couple has spurred me on in my journey as a missionary more than Jim and Elisabeth Elliot, and I can only hope to leave a fraction of the legacy they have left for us.
“This job has been given to me to do. Therefore, it is a gift. Therefore, it is a privilege. Therefore, it is an offering I may make to God. Therefore, it is to be done gladly, if it is done for Him. Here, not somewhere else, I may learn God’s way. In this job, not in some other, God looks for faithfulness.”
And my oh my, how faithful she was.