When someone you know dies, you begin to think about how they spent their life, this poem, written by C.T. Studd, speaks to me of how I actually feel as I approach my final moments.
“Only one life, ’twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last. And when I am dying, how happy I’ll be, if the lamp of my life has been burned out for Thee.”
We are all born with a clean slate, a life in front of us that has a chance to be something great, to make a difference in the world in which we live. If you did research on all the people who are rich and famous, you would find that a lot of them had to scratch their way up through a lot of adverse circumstances, yet sitting on top of their personal world we look at them and only see the success they have become. I personally know one person who was raised having to fend for himself and living from one family member to another, never really knowing his parentage, yet today he is the head of a large company, the scars of childhood hidden beneath all of his accomplishments.
There was a day that such infamous people as Hitler, the pilots of the aircraft that slammed into the Twin Towers at the World Trade Center, the couple that shot office workers in California were all tiny babies in a mother’s arms. What happened to twist them into the tormenter they became? Who has the answer to that?
You can blame a parent or the lack of one, but after a point it becomes our personal responsibility to stand up for our own self.
Psalm 139:13-15 Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit-by-bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, the days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.
What a beautiful revelation, and declaration, from the Psalmist King, David, of how God is and has always been, aware of us. Things happen to us that we cannot help, it is after we come to a knowledge of what the baggage we are carrying really is, that we can choose to put it down or carry it with us for the rest of our lives and use it as a crutch to live miserably. God gave me a little wisdom, for one such person who is at a terrible risk of letting whole their life be totally ruined by someone who at one time had power over them. To continue being bitter is to take great drafts from a mug of poison because you are thirsty! Who do you harm? It is like sitting in the cell of a dungeon not knowing that the door has been left unlocked, long ago. It’s a compartment of hell we don’t belong in! You have to get up and get out of it. On your own it won’t be that easy but you have a helper! Isaiah 41:10 ‘You’re my servant, serving on my side. I’ve picked you. I haven’t dropped you. ‘Don’t panic. I’m with you. There’s no need to fear for I’m your God. I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you. I’ll hold you steady; keep a firm grip on you.
If you are looking for someone to give you a helping hand, the person you turn to may be looking for the same thing! Gloria Gaither penned a wonderful song about ‘life gone bad’; If there ever were dreams that were lofty and noble, they were your dreams at the start, and the hope for life’s best are the hopes that we harbor, down deep in our heart, but then your dreams turn to ashes, your castles all crumble, your fortune turns to loss, Wrap it all, in the rags of your life, and lay them at the Cross. Let Christ make something beautiful, something good, all my confusions He understood, all I had to offer Him was brokenness and strife, but He made something beautiful out of my life.
You have a Friend, it’s Jesus and we have the promise in Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!