How Elisabeth Lived Out What She Taught

For years, I've kept a blue ceramic apple baker on the top of my stove. It's gone through multiple moves, but never been used. Inside is tucked a short, typewritten note that ends with the words, "May the peace of Christ be yours, dear girl. Love, E.G."

Elisabeth's legacy can live on in us.

The apple baker and note were a gift from Elisabeth Elliot Gren when I was a single gal working at Gateway To Joy. Even in the two paragraphs of the note (which included a recipe for baked apples) she was able to convey words that encourage me to this day. From her radio programs to book recommendations to marriage and parenting advice, Elisabeth Elliot has had a tremendous impact and influence on my life, so much so that my daughter is partially named after her.

I was a young believer when I started working for the ministry that produced Elisabeth's radio program, Gateway To Joy. I had heard of Elisabeth and read her famous book for singles, Passion and Purity, but that was the extent of it.

Over the course of the next five years, I was to listen to every radio program and read every book that Elisabeth wrote—both as part of my job and for personal growth. As I heard Elisabeth deliver the truth of God's Word in her straightforward, no-nonsense manner, I often sat my desk wishing I could be like a three-year-old and put my fingers in my ears chanting, "No, no, no!" I didn't always like hearing about surrendering my desires to God, abandoning my self to His will, and sacrificing my present and my future to His plan. But the plain truth of God's Word, delivered EE style, was exactly what I needed to hear for my spiritual growth.

Elisabeth challenged me in my struggle with singleness to accept the portion and cup that the Lord had assigned to me. She taught me of the glory of serving the Lord no matter what the cost, as she introduced me to the missionary stories of Gladys Aylward, John and Betty Scott Stam, and Amy Carmichael, not to mention that of her late husband Jim Elliot. She showed me that in order to learn what it means to be a woman, I needed to go to the Original Designer.

Now as a wife and mother, "do the next thing" has become part of my mantra whenever I feel overwhelmed. "In acceptance lieth peace" (one of Amy Carmichael's poems she often read) is a comfort in times of trouble.

But one of the most inspiring aspects of Elisabeth is that she lived as a true woman not just in the "famous" moments of her life—like when her husband, Jim, was killed or when she went to live with the Auca Indians. Elisabeth was also faithful throughout the ordinary moments of everyday life. She daily sought to know God better through His Word, she was submissive to her husband, and she was faithful to the ministry God had given her.

For many years, Elisabeth read every single letter sent to Gateway To Joy. In a GTJ broadcast where she described her typical day, she talked of rising early in the morning, having her devotions, then working most of the day at her desk writing, answering letters, preparing for broadcasts, and retiring early to start again the next day. This type of schedule wasn't for everyone, she said, but she deeply felt the responsibility of God's calling on her life and chose to sacrifice other things in order to fulfill it.

While Elisabeth's earthly life is now over, her legacy can live on in us. We can live as a true woman just like her, not by writing books or by speaking on the radio, but by being faithful in the place where God has placed us right now, by serving Him wholeheartedly even in daily drudgery, and by sharing the story of how God has worked in our lives with others. May we make Elisabeth's prayer below ours as well.

Loving Lord and Heavenly Father, I offer up today all that I am, all that I have, all that I do, and all that I suffer, to be Yours today and Yours forever. Give me grace, Lord, to do all that I know of Your holy will. Purify my heart, sanctify my thinking, correct my desires. Teach me, in all of today's work and trouble and joy, to respond with honest praise, simple trust, and instant obedience, that my life may be in truth a living sacrifice, by the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the name of Your Son Jesus Christ, my Master and my all.
Click here to watch, listen to, and read more tributes to Elisabeth Elliot.

About the Author

Mindy Kroesche

Mindy Kroesche

Mindy Kroesche is a stay-at-home mom who works part-time for Revive Our Hearts on a remote basis. She has degrees in journalism and French and has worked in ministry for over twenty years. Mindy and her husband, Jon, make their … read more …

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