Who Treads New Footprints in Your Life?
October 19, 2000
Mary Ann Nguyen
I was reading a radio transcript the other night and found this quote:
“I believe that if you will stop and think, who are the people who have had the most profound spiritual influence in your lives…I think you will discover that every single one of them has suffered. They have offered back to God that suffering and it has been completely transfigured.” Elisabeth Elliot
I stopped and thought. The first person I thought of was (ironically) Elisabeth Elliot. And truly, she has suffered more than most people have, and she has been transfigured. God has used her as an instrument for His glory. Why? Because she knew how to receive her suffering with both hands and then give it back to her Savior. Most people don’t talk about the necessity of receiving the suffering. Most people gloss over that part and try to usher us into giving it up to God and moving on. Yet, you cannot give something away if you’ve never received it. You cannot unless, like Larry Bauer says, “You lean into the pain” first.
It was rather insightful. Once again, Elisabeth Elliot was treading new footprints in my life, and as I followed her footsteps, I found a downpour of new thoughts.
And as I pondered, another thought struck me. What makes a person heroic or spiritually influential is that they have encountered suffering – difficult circumstances in their lives - and knew exactly how to handle it to God’s pleasure. It got me thinking about the people in my life who have had the most profound spiritual influence...
Who is it that always treads new footprints in my life? It is someone who breaks new ground by invading the space of my mind with new thoughts, revelations and ideas that are so Biblical I never know what to do with it at first. This is the sort of person who either becomes too exasperating in one’s eyes or too wonderfully heroic. Elisabeth Elliot, Larry Bauer and Samantha Chang have served to be “wonderfully heroic” in my life. They have been the producers of many new footprints.
So I wanted to introduce you to them: (Note: this page is still a bit under construction. There will be links later to a little bio about all three people and how exactly they have tread new footprints in my life. I haven't finished all of them yet. Larry's is done though, so please read!)
As a new believer, Samantha Chang had the most profound spiritual influence on my life.
When I entered college, I met my next spiritual hero Larry Bauer.
Simultaneously, in a not-so-ordinary way, God brought Elisabeth Elliot into my life.
As each of us seek to grow up in spiritual maturity in the Lord, I believe we need fellow seekers to walk alongside us to nudge us along in the right path. We need siblings who have already been travelling this road longer than us to direct us as well as give us insight into places we have not yet gone. We need people who will tread new footprints in our lives. Pray for these in your life. They can be peers and older people directly in your life or authors and missionaries that you've never met. God will use all sorts to mold you to be more like Him if you only but ask. For that is His desire! Just look at Romans 8:29. :)
May He continue to shower His blessings as you pursue Him with passion and purpose!
Mary Ann :)
Created October 19, 2000
Last updated: October 21, 2000
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Copyright Mary Ann Nguyen