February 22 I Monday
“By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.” —Hebrews 11:3
There are many things that are invisible in our life. We do not see the hand of God, we do not see His ways and we do not see changes that we long for. But this God, in whom we put our trust, brings visible things out of invisible, and surprises us in the ways that He does it.
One of the events that had a huge impact on the global Christian church in the twentieth century was the martyrdom of five missionaries, Nate Saint, Roger Youderian, Ed McCully, Pete Fleming and Jim Elliot, in Ecuador. Each of these men had a wife. They were skilled and well-educated, seeking to build contact with a remote, primitive tribe known as the Huaorani for the purpose of sharing the gospel. Nate Saint was a pilot, and together, they flew over the area where they knew the Huaorani people were living and dropped gifts to them. They wanted to communicate to the Huaorani people that they were friendly people who just wanted to get to know them. Some of these Huaorani people would come out and wave to them. The missionaries thought things were getting better, so one day, they landed the plane on a little beach by a river. They waited and a man came out of the jungle; they named him “George,” and gave him some food as they gestured back and forth. George went back into the forest and these men set up camp to sleep by the riverbank. But just before the sun fell, a whole group of Huaorani men came and speared all five missionaries to death. Elisabeth Elliot, wife of Jim Elliot, recorded this story in her book Through Gates of Splendor.
People’s reaction to this event was, “What an absolute waste of such vital young men in the prime of life!” Yet, despite what happened, Jim Elliot’s wife, Elisabeth Elliot, and Nate Saint’s sister, Rachel Saint, decided to go back to visit the Huaorani people. These women were able to build friendship, learn the Huaorani’s language and even lead some of them to faith in Christ. In fact, Nate Saint’s son, Steve Saint, was baptized in the river where his father died by the very man who killed his father.
Because of this event, thousands of men and women decided to join the mission field. By faith, these five men walked into what the world would label a trap. Yet, by God’s sovereign grace, it proved to be the invisible thread that not only connected them to the faithful commended in Hebrews 11, but also to the countless thousands that would follow in their example of trusting God.
Prayer: Invisible God, thank You, Lord, even when I do not see You working, I know You are at work. Sometimes, I may not understand what is happening, but You see the greater plan. Praise You!