I Can See Clearly Now

Back in 2001 Missionaries Jim and Roni Bowers were being flown by a missionary Pilot into Peru.  With them were their six-year-old son Cory, and their infant daughter Charity.  The Peruvian Air Force mistook the private plane for a drug cartel flyer.  They opened fire, killing mother Roni and infant Charity.

At the funeral a few days later, Steve Saint, son of Nate Saint the missionary pilot who was martyred decades earlier at the hand of the Auca Indians, spoke one-on-one to heart broken Cory.  He told him that he understood what it was like to lose a missionary parent at a very young age.

Elisabeth Elliot, whose husband Jim was also martyred by the Aucas on that same riverbank in South America alongside Nate Saint, then stood to speak.  She began:

“You wonder what God is doing, and of course, we know that God never makes mistakes.  He knows exactly what He is doing, and suffering is never for nothing. . . .”

She ended with a poem by Martha Snell Nicholson (A “mendicant” is a beggar.):

I stood a mendicant of God before His royal throne

And begged him for one priceless gift, which I could call my own.

I took the gift from out His hand, but as I would depart

I cried, “But Lord this is a thorn and it has pierced my heart.

This is a strange, a hurtful gift, which Thou hast given me.”

He said, “My child, I give good gifts and gave My best to thee.”

I took it home and though at first the cruel thorn hurt sore,

As long years passed I learned at last to love it more and more.

I learned He never gives a thorn without this added grace,

He takes the thorn to pin aside the veil which hides His face.

About savedbygrace1976

Mark Chanski (author of Manly Dominion; Womanly Dominion; and Encouragement: Adrenaline for the Soul) has labored as a full-time Pastor since 1986 in churches in Ohio and Michigan. He has been Pastor of Harbor Church in Holland, Michigan, since 1994. He has also been elected as Coordinator of the Reformed Baptist Network. He holds a Bachelor's degree from Cornerstone University, and a Master of Divinity degree from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. He teaches Hermeneutics for the Reformed Baptist Seminary in Sacramento, CA. Mark is married to his wife Dianne, and has fathered their four sons and one daughter, whose ages stretch from 36 to 26 (born 1983 to 1994).
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