Jim Elliot

I think today of Jim Elliot and his fellow missionaries who 67 years ago gave their lives in an attempt to reach the Huaorani tribe in Ecuador to preach the good news of Jesus. They had followed the great commission to the ultimate. From the point of view of the world it was a waste of five young lives. A waste of life or the ultimate obedience? It is not really possible for us to see things from God’s point of view. We are surrounded by seemingly unfair acts of injustice and persecution. It is recorded that there are more martyrs today than ever before.

I think of a missionary family my church supported when I was young, though being quite young I don’t remember many details. This couple served somewhere in Africa with their teenage daughter, who had a rare blood disorder. To support them we used to put our pennies into a large glass sweet jar, until the bottom fell out with the weight of the coins. But in fact the family had far bigger troubles. Some rebels came to their village to kill them because of their faith. They offered to save the daughter, but she said she was nothing without her parents, so they killed her as well. Being young myself I had many questions, which I suppose I still have.

When I consider the life of Job, I realise that God doesn’t need us to know all the answers. Our finite minds couldn’t comprehend the answers. Most of us will not have to go down the road of Jim Elliot, but in the words of the hymn which was a favourite of my fathers, Trust and Obey.’