Elisabeth Elliot is one of my favourite authors. One thing I love is that her books force me to use a dictionary (yes, even English majors need dictionaries sometimes). Something else I love is her ability to unwind and unravel complications and confusions until they are simple, straightforward truths – especially when it comes to patience and suffering.
Credibility is always a factor, and this woman has just that. Her husband – Jim Elliot – was speared to death by the Auca Indians in Ecuador, only 3 years after they were married. Elisabeth stayed in Ecuador with her 10 month old daughter for an additional 2 years working with the tribe members who killed her husband.
Wherever you are right now, whatever stage of life you find yourself in – waiting, grieving, hoping – Elisabeth encourages us to “buy the field.” Here’s what she says:
“Our problems cannot always be fixed, but they can always be accepted as the very will of God for now, and that turns them into something beautiful. Perhaps it is like the field wherein lies the valuable treasure. We must buy the field. It’s no sun-drenched meadow embroidered with wildflowers. It is a bleak and empty place, but once we know it contains a jewel the whole picture changes. The empty scrap of forgotten land suddenly teems with possibilities. Here is something we can not only accept, but something worth selling everything to buy.”
– Elisabeth Elliot, “Be Still My Soul”
I am confident that my field is teeming with treasure – precious jewels, sparkling rubies, and shining gems. Hope is my favourite word.