Christianity Today called Elisabeth Elliot "one of the most influential Christian women of the 20th century," and I couldn't agree more. She was a woman who helped shape my teen years and is a woman I still look up to for inspiration and guidance through her many books. If this is the first time you're hearing about her, I suggest reading "Through the Gates of Splendor." It's the true story of how her husband and four other men were tragically killed on a missionary trip to Ecuador. It's through this loss that Elisabeth shares some of her deepest words on pain, suffering, and hope.
She died this morning (June 15, 2015), and I can only imagine the party happening in Heaven. Here are just a few quotes from this great woman.
“The fact that I am a woman does not make me a different kind of Christian, but the fact that I am a Christian makes me a different kind of woman.”
“I realized that the deepest spiritual lessons are not learned by His letting us have our way in the end, but by His making us wait, bearing with us in love and patience until we are able to honestly to pray what He taught His disciples to pray: Thy will be done.”
“Today is mine. Tomorrow is none of my business. If I peer anxiously into the fog of the future, I will strain my spiritual eyes so that I will not see clearly what is required of me now.”
“Where does your security lie? Is God your refuge, your hiding place, your stronghold, your shepherd, your counselor, your friend, your redeemer, your saviour, your guide? If He is, you don't need to search any further for security.”
“One reason we are so harried and hurried is that we make yesterday and tomorrow our business, when all that legitimately concerns us is today. If we really have too much to do, there are some items on the agenda which God did not put there. Let us submit the list to Him and ask Him to indicate which items we must delete. There is always time to do the will of God. If we are too busy to do that, we are too busy.”
“Work is a blessing. God has so arranged the world that work is necessary, and He gives us hands and strength to do it. The enjoyment of leisure would be nothing if we had only leisure. It is the joy of work well done that enables us to enjoy rest, just as it is the experiences of hunger and thirst that make food and drink such pleasures.”
“But the question to precede all others, which finally determines the course of our lives is, 'What do I really want?' Was it to love what God commands, in the words of the collect, and to desire what He promises? Did I want what I wanted, or did I want what He wanted, no matter what it might cost?”
“God has promised to supply all our needs. What we don’t have now, we don’t need now.”
“Don’t dig up in doubt what you have planted in faith.”
“The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances.”
“When ours are interrupted, his are not. His plans are proceeding exactly as scheduled, moving us always (including those minutes or hours or years which seem most useless or wasted or unendurable).”
BONUS: "Leave it all in the hands that were wounded for you."