Tag Archives: missionary

Not a Matter of a Cost-Benefit Analysis

Story of the Day for Saturday November 12, 2011

Not a Matter of a Cost-Benefit Analysis

      Those who suffer according to God’s will should commit their lives to their faithful Creator, and continue to do good.

                                                                  1 Peter 4:19

 Jim Elliot was the class vice-president in high school.   He won the lead role in theatrical plays. In college he lettered in sports and graduated in 1949 with honors.  Popular, handsome, intelligent, and a gifted speaker, Jim’s prospects for the future were bright.  Just a matter of time before he could afford a two-car garage and an electric potato peeler.

But Jim Elliot did not care about money or status or success.  He took a boat to Ecuador and prepared for mission work. In college, he wrote in his journal, “God, I pray thee, light these idle sticks of my life and may I burn for Thee.”


Jim and four friends decided they would bring the Good News of Jesus to the primitive Auca Indians.  The Aucas were known to be fierce, and no missionary had been able to established friendly contact among them.

After depositing gifts for the Aucas, Jim and his fellow missionaries made friendly contact with a few of the natives.  Encouraged by this, the five missionaries flew again into the jungle to further their contact with the Aucas.

But they never returned.  The Aucas murdered them all.


Hah.  See?  That just shows you, doesn’t it?  It’s fine to be committed to the Lord, and all fired up to serve him – but you don’t have to be so fanatical about it.  Look where Jim Elliot’s burning zeal got him, eh?

You’re right — Jim Elliot’s passion to reach the Aucas got him killed.


But, commitment to the Lord is not a matter of scribbling out a cost-benefit analysis.  Jim and his friends were fully aware of the risk they were taking.  And they would never see any fruit from their brave attempts to build a friendship with the Aucas.

Jim would never see his widowed wife, Elizabeth, boldly venture into the jungle to continue his mission and establish contact with the Aucas.  He could not have known that Elizabeth (and wives of the other missionaries) would eventually live among these natives. Who could have known that the forgiveness these young widows showed after the Aucas killed their husbands would be exactly the demonstration the Aucas needed to understand the sacrificial love of Christ?  Through this powerful demonstration of forgiveness, many became converts to Christ.


We are called to commit our lives to the Lord.  We can seldom see the effect that our commitment will have on others.  The beautiful thing is. . .we don’t need to.  All we need to see is God’s promise to be faithful, and that the results of our dedication to his will are in his hands.

He’ll take it from there.

(copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)

A Misuse of the Imagination

Story of the Day for Tuesday May 24, 2011

A  Misuse of the Imagination

         “Don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow can worry about itself.  Each day has enough troubles of its own.” 

                                                                                   Matthew 6:34

Michael Hodgin tells the story about a woman who was so worried she had an incurable liver condition that she went to see her doctor about it.

The doctor assured her she was okay. “You wouldn’t know if you had this condition,” he explained, “because it causes no discomfort of any kind.”

The woman gasped. “Those are my symptoms exactly!”

There’s a road sign outside my hometown which says, “WORRY IS A MISUSE OF THE IMAGINATION.” We can imagine positive things we can accomplish in the world, or we can imagine all kinds of horrible tragedies that might rain down upon us.

Are you are in the habit of imagining all the things that could possibly go wrong in the future?  If your list of possible nightmares ever reaches an end, it only signifies a lack of creativity of your part – there’s no end to the list of bad things that could conceivably happen to us.

When you find yourself knotted up with anxiety about the future, I think there are some things you need to know. The first is that Jesus doesn’t tell you not to worry because he won’t let bad things happen to you. Bad things will happen to you.

Jesus wants you to know that he’s walking with you through those times, and he’ll give you everything you need. But the things you need can only be found by faith. Worry is a thief. It robs you of the security which is only found in trust.

Worry is a spectacular waste of time. It’s like a rocking chair: there’s a lot of movement, but we don’t go anywhere. Jesus put it this way, “Who of you by worrying can add a single cubit to his height?”

Don’t waste your days imagining what might happen tomorrow. God never lets us live a “tomorrow”; we only get to live “today.”

Sir Wilfred Grenfell is honored with a feast day in the Episcopal Church (October 9) because of his compassionate missionary work among the poor in Labrador, Canada.

In April, 1908, he was rushing on his dogsled to perform surgery for a boy.  Taking a shortcut over an ocean bay, he broke through the ice.  He managed to crawl onto an ice flow, which was heading toward open waters.  Alone along a desolate shoreline, he faced the concerns of the present moment – drying his soaking clothing, unraveling rope to make insulation for his boots, and making a signal flag.

Three days later, he was rescued. His observation captured the wisdom of Jesus’ teaching, “There was nothing to fear. I had done all I could; the rest lay in God’s hands.”

                                                        (copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)