Thursday, January 03, 2008

Passion and Purity by Elisabeth Elliot

I have devoured this book twice since Christmas.


Even this happily married mama gleans so much wisdom from a woman simply telling her story; of love longed for, denied, and then finally given. Strangely, I find that her words speak also to our current plight (if it can be so called) of finding a home in a quickly changing market. Patience, desire, struggle... These side-effects of love are still a driving force even now, in my life, as I learn to let go my wants, for that is what they are; opening my hands, loosing my grip, and letting Him take the reins. The burden of desire is lifted in so doing.

The growth of all living green things wonderfully represents the process of receiving and relinquishing, gaining and losing, living and dying. The seed falls into the ground, dies as the new shoot springs up. There must be a splitting and a breaking in order for a bud to form. The bud "lets go" when the flower forms. The calyx lets go of the flower. The petals must curl up and die in order for the fruit to form. The fruit falls, splits, relinquishes the seed. The seed falls to the ground...

There is no ongoing spiritual life without this process of letting go. At the precise point where we refuse, growth stops. If we hold tightly to anything given to us, unwilling to let it go when the time comes to let it go or unwilling to allow it to be used as the Giver means it to be used, we stunt the growth of the soul.

It is easy to make a mistake here. "If God gave it to me," we say, "it's mine. I can do what I want with it." No. The truth is that it is ours to thank Him for and ours to offer back to Him, ours to relinquish, ours to lose, ours to let go of- if we want to find our true selves, if we want real Life, if our hearts are set on glory.
-Passion and Purity by Elisabeth Elliot
Oh, may I fully learn the lesson of the seed.

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