I just learned of the death of one of my long time heroes, Elisabeth Elliot. I read her book, Through Gates of Splendor, as a young woman. In it she told of going to a tribe of uncivilized natives, the Auca Indians in Ecuador, with husband Jim.
After a few contacts, Jim, along with two other men, landed their small plane among the tribe. Soon after, they were speared and murdered.
Elisabeth grieved, but after a period of time, returned to the Aucas and was able to see the very man who killed her husband come to know Jesus and become a leader among his people for Christ.
Her life was one of true surrender to God’s purpose and she now has entered those “Gates of Splendor” a hero.
Do you have a hero?
What is a hero?
Such words as extreme courage, fortitude, bravery, having boldness, perseverance come to mind.
I have heroes, not in the athletic field or entertainment arena, but ordinary people who live extraordinary lives.
My daughter, Becky, who has lived heroically for twenty six years with the pain of lupus, yet she and husband Tim have reared three children who are making a difference in the world. She’s my hero.
A niece who has suffered M.S. for many years, yet still trusts God, knowing He sees the whole picture–what fortitude!
Among my all time heroes has to be Marlene Evans. How many years she battled cancer, while giving herself to women and girls with her profound teaching until her death.
At this time, I think of a brave lady who has been the wife of a man used of God, who herself has suffered illnesses, surgeries beyond what many have. Yet, she shows that fortitude that won’t be stopped; a hero.
My thoughts go to those who have lost a child or maybe more than one. That’s not the way life should go. Yet, their faith in God’s plan grows stronger.
There are those of you who were living your “dream.” When that dream shattered, you picked up the pieces and with courage have gone forward.
Girls who had dreamed of marriage, home, children, which never happened. But, not wallowing in self pity, have chosen to be servants to others.
Those of you who have become “caregivers” to a handicapped child for life, or caretaker to a spouse, or you have become a parent to your parent. NO HARDER TASK. You’re heroes.
Former First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt, said–
“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you stop and look fear in the face. You can say, I lived through those…I can take the next thing that comes along.”
I have a little booklet entitled, “The Language of Courage and Inner Strength.” The following, written by Douglas Pagets, came from it:
Turn to the Courage Within You
“It takes a strong person to deal with tough times and difficult choices. But you are a strong person. It takes courage, but you possess that inner courage.
You are in the driver’s seat and you can determine the direction you want tomorrow to go in.
So–beginning today and lasting a lifetime–hang in there and don’t be afraid to feel like the morning sun is shining…just for you.”
Hats off to our heroes!