Friday, January 6, 2012

Shadow of the Almighty

While on vacation, I had the opportunity to do quite a bit of reading. One book I read, one that I received as a Christmas gift from Mahria, was Elisabeth Elliot's "Shadow of the Almighty - The Life and Testament of Jim Elliot" (Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 1958).

Elisabeth Elliot tells the remarkable story of her martyred husband's life by using his journals and letters to serve as the foundation for her narrative. Jim Elliot was only 28-years-old when he and four other missionaries died at the hands of murderous Indians, in the jungle of Ecuador.

In "Shadow of the Almighty" the reader is given so much more than a cursory sketch of Jim Elliot's life. The depth of his love for Christ and his commitment to deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Christ pours from his letters and journal entries chronicled in the book. On several occasions, I found myself reminding myself that Jim Elliot was only in his late teens and early twenties when he wrote some of the journal entries I read. His hunger for the things of God, the development of his worldview, his ability to mine the deep riches of the Word of God, and his awareness of and battle with his own sin speak of a soul much older and more mature than his earthly years should have indicated.

I could not help reflecting on my own walk with Christ as I read the testament of Jim Elliot. While difficult not to put such a hero of the faith on a pedestal, reading the book didn't drive me to be more like Jim Elliot. It did, however, motivate me to strive to be more like Christ--to pursue with greater passion Christ-likeness in my own life.

I highly recommend "Shadow of the Almighty" for every follower of Christ who desires a closer walk with Him and who want to step outside of their comfort zone, for the glory of Christ.