In the midst of some big changes and a season of many questions about many things, my husband and I decided to set aside a week of concentrated prayer and fasting a few weeks ago. Instead of fasting from food, we opted to fast from the internet. Being the 21st century drone that I can be, I realized pretty early into the first day that this left a regular little void – there were many small moments of the day that I casually filled with “phone checks.” Checking Facebook, checking the news, checking whatever. I decided to pull a new book off my shelf to at least fill these small pockets of 2 or 5 or 15 minutes (food is cooking, baby is nursing, whatever) with something more godward.
Well, it turns out I chose the perfect book for the task, and I am totally entranced! Elisabeth Elliot’s somehow overlooked (at least by me) masterpiece titled Keep a Quiet Heart reads like the blog she would’ve written if such a thing existed in her prime. It’s actually a large collection of brief (1-4 pages) essays and articles she composed for a regular newsletter she sent out over the course of years in her life. She writes on what God is teaching her through events, readings, her time in the word, and many other sources. The wisdom contained in these writings is priceless!
At first I planned to merely share a review, as the whole book seemed to focus on dealing with trials, life’s seasons of disquiet, and the like. However, tonight I realized that I had overlooked the divisions of sections on various subjects. As it turns out, that trove of rich reflections was just a drop in the bucket of this book!
Since I couldn’t keep myself from highlighting line after line of insight I didn’t want to forget on the subject of “keeping a quiet heart” as God directs your life, I’ve decided to dedicate the next several posts to some of the best quotes from the first section, titled Faith for the Unexplained. I hope the Lord uses Mrs. Elliot’s words to bless and encourage you in your season!
Here’s the first…
“Our enemy delights in disquieting us. Our Savior and Helper delights in quieting us. ‘As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you’ is His promise [Is. 66:13]. The choice is ours. It depends on our willingness to see everything in God, receive all from His hand, accept with gratitude just the portion and the cup He offers. Shall I charge Him with a mistake in His measurements or with misjudging the sphere in which I can best learn to trust Him? Has He misplaced me? Is He ignorant of things or people which, in my view, hinder my doing His will? […] The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances.” [page 20]