I've read a dozen books in the last six weeks - books on grieving a suicide, mental illness and how the church can offer support and help, a couple of Dick Francis novels when I just needed to escape and my favorites: These Strange Ashes and Secure in the Everlasting Arms by Elisabeth Elliot. Elisabeth Elliot, whose husband, Jim, was murdered by a savage tribe in Ecuador, has mentored me from afar for more than 40 years. I owe my deepest, most transformative lessons on trusting God to her steadfast, passionate pursuit of a God who often offers no explanations or answers - at least not the kind that easily satisfy my very human questions.
She writes: "Each separate experience of individual stripping we may learn to accept as a fragment of the suffering Christ bore when He took it all. 'Surely he hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows.' This grief, this sorrow, this total loss that empties my hands and breaks my heart, I may, if I will, accept, and by accepting it, I find in my hands something to offer. And so I give it back to Him, who in mysterious exchange gives Himself to me."
Thanking God tonight for others like Elisabeth who have walked sorrows' path and left encouraging signposts for those of us following behind.