On a lonely Greyhound bus in January of 1958, a young Marine slumped in his seat with his head down. His heart ached for the wife he’d left behind and feared for the place he was headed. In his hands. he held Elisabeth Elliot’s book, Through Gates of Splendor. As he turned the pages, his life was turned around forever . . .
That was me.
I had no idea what God had in store for me when I boarded that bus. It turned out to be one of my life’s defining moments . . . and it came to me through a book. God used Elisabeth Elliot’s volume to rearrange my attitude, my thinking . . . my entire future.
God has used other books and their significant messages in my life. I’d like to introduce you to a few. I want to encourage you with the truths I’ve learned from them and to tell you a bit about their authors. My hope is that you will be strengthened and challenged by these grand messengers that have pointed the way for me.
At a time when the publishing industry pushes out thousands of new books in print each year and even more than that electronically, I want to share with you selections from eight works that endure—works that have inspired me to reach higher and further. You’ll see they touch on various aspects of the Christian life: suffering, joy, prayer, and servanthood, to name a few.
Across time and generations, these great books carry the truths of God and the thoughts and feelings of the human spirit. They are worth passing on, and each one should be read in the next generation and beyond.
What books would make your list? Consider the authors who speak into your life—the ones whose writings have defined your life in some way. My short list is the new volume, Meet Me in the Library: Readings from Eight Writers Who Shaped My Life. I could easily add a dozen more books for each topic mentioned, but this is a good place to start.