“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.” – Elisabeth Elliot
All this month, we’ve been studying the lives of faithful women of the past…women who have taught us by their lives and by their deaths what it means to serve Jesus. Elisabeth Elliot isn’t exactly a woman of the past (she’s in her 80’s right now), but she is someone we can learn from.
She is a different kind of woman. Different in the most amazing way.
Elisabeth’s Faith Under Pressure
In 1953, Elisabeth married Jim Elliot. She and Jim lived in Ecuador, working with the Quichua Indians. Jim had always wanted to minister to an unreached tribe and soon had the opportunity he had been waiting for. He and four other missionaries entered Auca territory in hopes of reaching out to these people.
Instead of being welcomed, though, the five men were speared to death.
Elisabeth lost her husband that day, and their 10 month old baby girl, Valerie, lost her father.
Most of us (if we’re being honest) probably wouldn’t stick around after that. Why continue to invest in the lives of the very people who murdered your husband?
This was not how Elisabeth looked at it, though. In the months and years that followed, she befriended two Auca women and even allowed them to live with her for a year. For the next two years, Elisabeth ministered to the very men who murdered her husband. Her witness impacted an entire tribe of people.
Instead of seeking revenge, she sought their eternal forgiveness. Instead of seeking justice, she gave love.
Elisabeth is a different kind of woman, isn’t she?
What Elisabeth’s Life Teaches Us
In her book, These Strange Ashes, Elisabeth said this, “Of one thing I am perfectly sure: God’s story never ends with ‘ashes.’”
Whatever you’re going through today, whatever trial you are facing, whatever pain you are suffering through, take this lesson from Elisabeth.
God doesn’t leave broken things broken. He ALWAYS (if we’ll allow him the chance) puts broken things back together again.
In another one of Elisabeth’s books, she said this: “Faith does not eliminate questions. But faith knows where to take them.” (A Chance to Die: The Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael)
Spoken from a woman who had a very difficult life, these words remind us that faithful people have questions. But faithful people also bring their questions to the One who holds all the answers.
Elisabeth wasn’t different because she never faced trials or never had doubts. She was different because she brought those questions to the Father and trusted Him even when life was hard.
*photo courtesy: unsplash