I just finished reading “Shadow of the Almighty”, which is a collection of Jim Elliot’s journal entries and letters. I remember having two things in mind when I started reading it: the first one being almost afraid of the challenges I’d face while learning about Jim’s life. The second one I can’t remember right now, and actually I’m not sure if there was another one. After I read the prologue in which Elisabeth Elliot tells about the tragic death of Jim and other missionaries to the Aucas, I thought it was just that…tragedy. But as I became more familiar with Jim through his diaries and letters, I started to understand why it wasn’t tragic anymore. And why, even though he had spent only a few days meeting with the Aucas before getting killed by them, his death was meaningful.
It all had to do with a life lived under Christ’s authority.
I figure that one cannot die for Christ if he hasn’t lived for Him. Jim’s journals show a young man with a passion for God and the Word. His example has fueled me in ways I cannot begin to describe. Jesus was real for him, and he communed with him. He digged into the Scripture and was daily refreshed by it. When in sorrow or during trials, it’s encouraging to see him constantly looking to God for revival and strength. He sought to live one day at a time with His Redeemer. His plans and prayers were meaninful because of that. He lived for the Kingdom, and saw himself as a warrior who was to be obedient to His Captain.
My copy’s pages are underlined, checked, and note-written all over. I highly recommend that Jim’s “biography” should be read by any young person in the church. God’s glory was reflected both in his life and death because he decided to respond to Jesus and to Him alone. Jim sought God’s will and he denied himself in order to follow him. His life teaches us that being young and totally devoted to God is doable. Let us not miss the opportunity to serve Christ with our lives while we’re young and vigorous.
All glory be to Him!