By Jerry Love, LBF director of planned giving
Isaiah 40:8 tells us: “The grass withers, the flowers fade, but the word of our God remains forever” (CSB).
There also are times the grass grows up in the cracks, and the flowers and shrubs overtake structures that we would call permanent.
A pastor friend who now lives in Virginia relayed a story in a recent blog post about a walk in the woods with his wife. As they strolled around a local lake they came upon the remains of a cabin that had become an overgrown pile of rubble.
My friend wrote:
“This rubble is hidden… you might walk right by it without even being aware of its presence. Someone once lived here. They worked hard to gather heavy rocks to line the foundation and walls. They farmed, they hunted, and they walked around the same lake we were now walking around. They had dreams, plans, and a vision to build something and make a living. They may have even died here.
“Who were they? What were their dreams? Did they leave any relatives to carry on the legacy?”
The more important question for me is “What kind of legacy did they leave?”
I recall a particular song from years past titled “Only One Life” by Lanny Wolfe. With a little digging (thanks, Wikipedia) I learned that the song was based on the theme of a poem written by C.T. Studd in the late 1800’s.
The poem title and the recurring theme is this: “Only one life, ‘twill soon be past; Only what’s done for Christ will last.”
C.T. Studd not only penned these words, but after achieving some level of fame as a cricket player in Great Britain, he lived them out by committing himself to missionary service in China, India and Africa.
He also is credited with saying, “Some want to live within the sound of church or chapel bell; I want to run a rescue shop within a yard of hell.”
With the help of his wife, Priscilla, Studd established the Worldwide Evangelistic Crusade that shared the Gospel of Christ in the Middle East, Central Asia and South America along with his primary life’s work in Africa. Even after his death in the Belgian Congo at age 70, the WEC continued to spread the Good News of Jesus well into the 20th century under the direction of his daughter and son-in-law.
Studd not only personally proclaimed the Gospel but he gave financially to support ministry as well.
While serving in China, Studd’s father passed away. Studd received a significant inheritance but, in turn, gave the majority to several ministries operating in England and India including Moody Bible Institute. His father had become a Christian during a D.L. Moody crusade in England.
C.T. Studd no doubt left a legacy that impacted countless souls with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Although his skills as a cricket player are still noted by vast store of information on the internet, it’s his ministry for Christ that will last into eternity.
What legacy are you building for the future?
“Only one life, ‘twill soon be past; Only what’s done for Christ will last.”