What If Obedience Doesn’t Pay Off?

I found an old tattered audio book at our local used book store. It was recorded on cassette, so you can imagine how old it is, but I bought it because it was by Elisabeth Elliot. Oh my goodness! I am such a big fan so this audio book is a treasure — she even reads it herself. The book is called These Strange Ashes and it’s about her first year as a missionary to a small group of native women in the Ecuadorian jungle. She is gut-honest about her doubts and questions and the cost of obedience.

In the book, she recounts an African legend about Jesus. It is not in the Bible it never happened! It’s a made-up story, but the message sure does preach the truth. The legend hit me right in the heart and made me consider why I obey the Lord… for whom do I carry the stone?

Here’s my version of the legend…

How Can I Possibly Rejoice in My Suffering?

Spill The Beans

Dear Jennifer,

I have been reading your book, Lessons I Learned in the Dark, and you say that one should rejoice in their suffering.  All I seem to do is get frustrated and depressed.  I have the same trials day in and day out–people making fun of me or dismissing me because they see I have a disability.

I feel that I always have to prove myself to everybody, even though I have become a success.  As you say in your book, I have become very independent, but I feel isolated.  I feel that socially; I have not experienced what others have experienced at my age.  I try to pray, but feel I make little progress.  Your book makes it seem this whole thing has been a pretty smooth ride for you, with a few bumps in the road, in which you are able to conquer most everything.

Thank you, Wendi

Jennifer’s Answer