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December 15

Too Much to Gain to Lose

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One perk of living within or around the Bible Belt is to be surrounded by people who have a positive outlook on life’s trials. The thought of it becomes less depressing. In fact, we want to be hearing more encouragement in our songs. Following is one worth playing.

“Too Much to Gain to Lose” by Connie Smith

While a trial is not a welcome guest, it is a frequent subject of our gospel songs. This “Too Much to Gain to Lose” offers us another insight into it. Also, while it may not have specifically mentioned death, it sets the same expectations of the beyond once this life is through. Adding to its impact is a recalling of the obstacles conquered.

What May Have Been the Inspiration…

Since I love adding stories to songs I write about, this one won’t be an exception. The title brings to mind the life story of Jim Eliott. He was a missionary to Ecuador for the Auca people. He and his friends tried several means to make contact with these natives. By plane, they kept flying to the Auca territory, dropping them gifts by lowering a basket. This was in the hope of winning their trust and building a friendship with them. However, the Aucas were very elusive. They accept the gifts and even send some in return to these missionaries but they won’t show themselves.

Their patience and persistence were rewarded though. After days of searching, a man and two women from the tribe appeared. Jim and his friends were ecstatic! They shared their meals with them and urged them to bring more of their friends next time. Two days after that meeting, they did come back. Sadly, it was no longer a friendly contact. Tribal warriors speared them to death. Tragic as it may sound, the story did not end there. Instead of retreating, more missionaries went to Ecuador to reach the Aucas for Christ. Their deaths were not in vain. They gain more than what they had sacrificed; souls.

Eventually, the former missionaries’ wives became friends with them. Among them is Elisabeth Eliott, Jim’s wife. When asked about her late husband’s death, her words were noteworthy. She quoted a line from her husband’s journal.

“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.”


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