“Deeper and Deeper must be the dying”

Elisabeth said this.  Her “dying” was in waiting for her for her Jim (she waited 5 long years).  Her “dying” was in his dying (widowhood after only being married for 2 years).  Her “dying” was in the death of her second husband after a long battle with cancer.  Her “dying” was great loneliness, and sorrow.


“Deeper and deeper must be the dying, for wider and fuller is the lifetide that it is to liberate – no longer limited by the narrow range of our own being, but with endless powers of multiplying in other souls.  Death must reach the very springs of our nature to set it free: it is not this thing or that thing that must go now; it is blindly, helplessly, recklessly, our very selves. A dying must come upon all that would hinder God’s working through us – all interests, all impulses, all energies that are “born of the flesh” – all that is merely human and part from His Spirit. ” 1

“Deeper and deeper must be the dying” for great is the harvest that it brings.  If we want a life that is fulfilled and filled we must be willing/wanting the death and dying.

Were Elisabeth’s “deaths” to no avail?  What was the gain in her “dying”? There is purpose in all pain, and for Elisabeth, you don’t need to go far before you see the purpose: the lives changed by her testimony of death; the books which rose out of the ashes of her disappointment and pain. She stands with the “great cloud of witnesses” as a hero of the faith, due in large part to the path of dying God allowed her to journey through.

The flower must die in order to produce the fruit.  Nothing is ever wasted.  In God’s economy, whether He is making a flower or a human soul, nothing ever comes to nothing.  Today’s losses are tomorrow’s gains, or perhaps eternity’s treasure.  Say that to Corrie Ten Boom, whose losses were great; whose “dying” meant a great cutting away of all earthly loves.  Corrie’s eternal treasure is great because the dying came first, and from it, a harvest of spiritual fruit.

No, the dying wasn’t wasted.  Dying is never wasted when it’s done for Him.


Set me like a star before the morning

Like a sun that steals the darkness from a world asleep

And I’ll illuminate the path you’ve laid before me

Bind up these broken bones

Mercy bend and bring me back to life

But not before you show me how to die

No, not before You show me how to die 2

Show Me, Audrey Assad

{footnotes:  1. Excerpt from The Path of Loneliness by Elisabeth Elliot

2. Show Me, Audrey Assad}

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