One of my heroes passed through the gates of splendor this morning.
Elisabeth Elliot (12/21/26 – 6/15/15) went home to see Jesus.
If you don’t know her story, here is the much abbreviated version starting when she met her husband, and soon-to-be-martyr, Jim Elliot:
A year after I went to Ecuador, Jim Elliot, whom I had met at Wheaton, also entered tribal areas with the Quichua Indians. In nineteen fifty three we were married in the city of Quito and continued our work together. Jim had always hoped to have the opportunity to enter the territory of an unreached tribe. The Aucas were in that category—a fierce group whom no one had succeeded in meeting without being killed. After the discovery of their whereabouts, Jim and four other missionaries entered Auca territory. After a friendly contact with three of the tribe, they were speared to death.
Our daughter Valerie was 10 months old when Jim was killed. I continued working with the Quichua Indians when, through a remarkable providence, I met two Auca women who lived with me for one year. They were the key to my going in to live with the tribe that had killed the five missionaries. I remained there for two years.
After having worked for two years with the Aucas, I returned to the Quichua work and remained there until 1963 when Valerie and I returned to the U.S.
Since then, my life has been one of writing and speaking.
In college, I read her account of Jim’s death and her decision to go back to the tribe that killed her husband for the sake of the gospel. I was floored with such commitment. This type of action sounded like it came in the Book of Acts and had just happened decades ago. She left an incredible impact upon me.
Here are 10 of my favorite quotes of this woman of God:
- “I have one desire now – to live a life of reckless abandon for the Lord, putting all my energy and strength into it.”
- “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.”
- “Faith does not eliminate questions. But faith knows where to take them.”
- “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.”
- “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.”
- “God never witholds 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.”
- “God is God. Because he is God, He is worthy of my trust and obedience. I will find rest nowhere but in His holy will that is unspeakably beyond my largest notions of what he is up to.”
- “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.”
- “There is nothing worth living for, unless it is worth dying for.”
- “To be a follower of the Crucified means, sooner or later, a personal encounter with the cross. And the cross always entails loss.”