On Monday, January 9, 1956, five women huddled together at Shell Mera, Ecuador, waiting to hear news from their husbands.
These five men, each with a passion for sharing Christ’s love, had spent months making contact with the Auca tribe, one of the most hostile and murderous Indian tribes in all of South America, in an attempt to share with them the gospel of Christ.
And now they were missing.
On Wednesday, two days later, four bodies were recovered from the river, some with wood spears still sticking through their clothing. Jim Elliot, Pete Fleming, Roger Youderian, Nate Saint, and Ed McCully, whose body had apparently been washed away, died as Christian martyrs in the hands of the very people they longed to reach for Christ.
Knowing the numerous obstacles against them, why did these men still decide to go ahead with this mission?
Why did they persevere after being strongly cautioned regarding the extreme danger in working with these people?
The answer is that these men had their foundations anchored in Christ, and they were ready to die for the salvation of the Auca. They believed not only that God had called them to Ecuador, but that He went before them as their Divine Leader. These five couples believed that no matter what happened, God was in control.
Like these five men, even when we’ve made our decision to put our full trust in God, there are still times when things go wrong and He seems far away. Often, this is when our faith begins to falter, and we wonder if He’s still in control.
In order to trust God, though, we must know God, and the Bible is our guide:
- to finding out who God is
- what His personality is like
- what things He enjoys
- what He expects from us
- and how deeply He cares about us
If we are to persevere in our Christian walk through both good and bad times, it is essential for us to know God and to set our foundation firmly on Him.
Only then will we be able to trust Him when times get tough.