Elisabeth Elliot went home to be with the Lord yesterday. Her life made such an impact on me. I’m mourning. I’m happy. Both. I thank God for her life and legacy.
I grew up in a home that talked about the five martyrs of Ecuador. One of those men was Elisabeth’s husband Jim, and one of them was my parents friend Ed McCully. After their deaths, my parents were ready to go serve the Lord in Ecuador. However, the Lord called them into His work in a different way. I was three years old.
As a young woman my mom read me the book Through Gates of Splendor more than once. We talked about men willing to lay down their lives to tell people about Jesus. I saw that same heart in my parents. Later, as a newly wed, I started reading Elisabeth’s books as they came out. I think my first book in the 70’s was Twelve Baskets of Crumbs. I read it over and over. Then there was Let me be a Woman. What wonderful counsel! I devoured The Journals of Jim Elliot. I could go on and on. I think I’ve read every one of her books and will check later and make sure I have. In recent years I have especially appreciated A Path Through Suffering, Keep and Quiet Heart, and Be Still my Soul. Elisabeth introduced me to Lillias Trotter and her two books, Parables of the Cross and Parables of the Christ-Life for which I will always be grateful.
It is when the death of winter has done its work that the sun can draw out in each plant its own individuality, and make its existence full and fragrant. Spiritual growth means something more than the sweeping away of the old leaves of sin – it means the life of the Lord Jesus developed in us. Parables of the Cross
What I love about Elisabeth's books is that she is sitting right there next to me giving me the same godly counsel that my parents did. A different voice, with wonderful words challenging me to live for God. She was straightforward, like Mumsy. She told it like it was! Thank you! She taught me there was a high cost to be a disciple. She put in me a yearning to serve God in that way. She made me think about what a Christian woman was and what a Christian family was.
Some things she said are emblazoned on my heart. Here are only a few…
I loved this part in Through Gates of Splendor:
I have one desire now - to live a life of reckless abandon for the Lord, putting all my energy and strength into it.
She did that.
He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.
We are women, and my plea is let me be a woman, holy through and through, asking for nothing but what God wants to give me, receiving with both hands and with all my heart whatever that is.
On serving the Lord:
His 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.
Elisabeth taught me the importance of doing the next thing. Here is just a verse of the poem she would quote.
Looking to Jesus, ever serener,
I cannot write down my depths of appreciation. I am thankful that Elisabeth Elliot was surrendered to God as His servant. My life is only one of many that have been affected for eternity because of her.
And now she has passed through those gates of pearly splendor. I had to say that. The line is from the hymn the men were singing before they were killed. And now she is seeing the Lord. She is seeing Jim. What a reunion. She is forever with the Lord. His really is the praise!
We rest on Thee, our Shield and our Defender!
I pray that God will raise up women like Elisabeth Elliot in our generation. Women not afraid to speak truth. Women who will serve the Lord Jesus with a passion. Will you and I be those women?
More than anything I would like to encourage you in your walk with God!