North Korea and Elizabeth Prentiss

"I feel so empty," Elizabeth Prentiss wept. She had just lost three children in three months. She had already experienced much pain in her life from losing the use of her legs, but then her faith in Christ had always kept her smiling with a unique ability to encourage others.

This time the grief was too much to bear. "God, please minister to my broken spirit." God answered her prayer. One afternoon, moved by her love for Jesus, she penned the words to this familiar, inspiring hymn: 

More love to thee, O Christ, more love to thee! 

Hear thou the prayer I make on bended knee. 

This is my earnest plea: More love, O Christ, to thee . . . 

 

Once earthly joy I craved, sought peace and rest;

Now thee alone I seek, give what is best . . . 

 

Let sorrow do its work, send grief and pain; 

Sweet are thy messengers, sweet their refrain

When they can sing with me: 

More love, O Christ, to thee . . . 

Elizabeth never knew the comfort and impact her song would make on future Christians. In North Korea when the late Communist leader Kim II Sung discovered 30 Christians living underground, he had them brought out for public execution. The last words sung by the Christians as they faced death were the words of her song, "More Love to Thee."

Jesus loved Elizabeth too much to let her drown in her tears. He allowed her sorrow to last just long enough to cause her to turn to Him. Like the North Korean Christians awaiting persecution, she learned what it was like to rejoice even while she was suffering.

Dear Father, I pray that every sorrow You allow will turn into more love for You.

"Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: . . . sorrowful, yet always rejoicing" (2 Cor. 6:4, 10).