Have You Heard of Bert Elliott? posted by jwatson on Nov 04, 2014
Here is an encouraging story, adapted from a sermon by Randy Alcorn…
You certainly have heard of Jim Elliott, the famous missionary who was martyred with four other missionaries in 1956. Jim Elliott is the author of this well-known quote: “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.”
Jim Elliot’s story is a familiar one, but have you heard of Bert? Bert is Jim Elliot’s older brother. He’s the one who isn’t famous. He was a student at Multnomah Bible College in 1949, and he and his young wife were invited by a missionary to come to Peru and join the work there. Other than an occasional furlough, there they have stayed. Now in their eighties, they are still there.
If you Google Bert Elliott, you will not find many entries. However, over the years, Bert and Colleen have planted more than 170 churches. And when asked to reflect on his brother, Jim, Bert’s response is stirring: “My brother Jim and I took different paths. He was a great meteor, streaking through the sky.”
Bert was not. He did not go streaking through the sky. Nobody lined up with their telescopes to watch his life. Instead, he was the faint star in the distance that faithfully rises night after night, always there. Always faithful. Always doing the same thing, day after day, week after week.
In the kingdom of God, there is a great need for streaking meteors, but most of us won’t be that. We will instead, in comparison, be faint stars—husbands and fathers, wives and mothers. We will be accountants and teachers, business people, and students. We will go through life, day after day, doing very much the same thing tomorrow that we did today.
The important thing for us to remember is that we are needed. There is a great need for people willing to chase the little donkeys of life, not because it’s exciting but because they believe in the constant presence and purpose of God. There is a great need for followers of Christ willing to stand in the midst of the everyday routines of life, convinced that there is no such thing as ordinary when you follow an extraordinary God.
Bert and Colleen are living epistles of the teaching of Paul as he encourages and exhorts us about the way in which we live out the routines of our everyday lives.
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. Colossians 3:23-24
Rise and stand and labor and witness and care and give and encourage and persevere. Then tomorrow, do it again. Remember, you are serving the Lord Christ!