I came to know Elisabeth Elliot as a young girl growing up I Kansas City, Missouri.
I heard about the tragic death of her husband Jim and four others who served as a missionaries to the Auca Indians in Ecuador.
I heard how Elisabeth and her young daughter and the other widows remained in Ecuador continuing the work of reaching those people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Time went by and a few years later I heard how she had married again.
From time to time I saw a book that she had written and bought it
longing to know more about this woman who stayed with the people who had massacred her husband.
I knew in my heart that fear would have driven me home
but she had something more. Someone more.
“I have one desire now – to live a life of reckless abandon for the Lord, putting all my energy and strength into it.” – Elisabeth Eliot
I devoured her books – Let Me Be Woman, Passion and Purity, Through Gates of Splendor,
Shadow of the Almighty, Discipline – the Glad Surrender and many more.
Each book grew within me a greater understanding of faith, commitment, discipline and love.
I often listened to her radio program – Gateway To Joy.
always finding challenge and strength in her insights.
I’ll never forget reading A Chance to Die: The Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael,
As I poured over those pages again and again I saw the need for complete surrender
to the One Who loves us beyond our ability to understand.
Slowly I was understanding my own need to step out beyond my own ability
and to trust Him with everything.
And when I did that I discovered joy.
A joy that flows deep within no matter what the circumstances
no matter how things work out.
Joy in simply trusting Him.
My life too became an adventure of faith.
There was no turning back.
My writing career grew as I attempted to put into words my simple experiences of faith.
Doors opened for speaking and writing.
I’ll never forget the time I heard Elisabeth Eliot in person and spoke with her.
It wasn’t her personal style that touched me
or her particular way of speaking.
No, I was drawn by her boldness in proclaiming God’s Truth.
I can still hear her opening remarks “’You are loved with an everlasting love’..that’s what the Bible says ‘and underneath are the everlasting arms.’”
Words cannot begin to express how grateful I am for the life and ministry of Elisabeth Eliot.
From her I learned a faith that leaps,
a heart that gives without counting the cost
and a hope that endures all earthly loss.
My loss in her earthly passing is her gain.
Our loss is heaven’s gain. I can only imagine……
A few of her quotes are –
There is nothing worth living for, unless it is worth dying for.
God never withholds from His child that which His love and wisdom call good. God’s refusals are always merciful—‘severe mercies’ at times, but mercies all the same. God never denies us our hearts’ desire except to give us something better.
The life of faith is lived one day at a time, and it has to be lived—not always looked forward to as though the ‘real’ living were around the next corner. It is today for which we are responsible. God still owns tomorrow.