Only One Life...

 
 

"Only one life,’twill soon be past,

Only what’s done for Christ will last."

-C.T. Studd

This repeated line of British cricketer and missionary to China Charles Thomas Studd's poem, "Only One Life," is so packed with meaning, conviction, as well as encouragement. 

We have lately been more than typically reminded of life's brevity. Three different people, one of whom is a dear friend, and two others who are friends of our friends, have recently received the news that there is cancer invading their bodies. One of them is 19 years old and in the middle of nursing school and the other, a brother in our church, is a young 20-something man who just recently became father to he and his wife's first child. 

We all know that death is inevitable at some point, but how often does it really impact our thoughts, decisions, and actions in day-to-day life?

While there's no need for being unhelpfully morbid, there is an aspect where considering the end of our lives (be it soon or many years down the road) is incredibly helpful. 

 

When we are considering the end of our lives and standing before the judgement seat of Christ, so many of the little "trials" of life seem so much less important, and the larger ones seem more purposeful. It encourages us not to live for ourselves, but for the Kingdom that is to come. It also guides us in decision making not to choose the selfish route, but the path that has more eternal value, though it may also be the one that has more foreseeable difficulties along its course.

We can be confident, though, that when we live with this eternal perspective, whatever the sacrifices that come our way, in the end we will agree with the final stanza of Studd's poem: 

"Only one life, yes only one, Now let me say, "Thy will be done"; And when at last I’ll hear the call, I know I’ll say 'twas worth it all."

The Bible confirms this in 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 - For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

It's long, but we highly encourage reading through the whole of his poem (below). It's well worth it!

Only One Life - By C.T. Studd

Two little lines I heard one day,

Traveling along life’s busy way;

Bringing conviction to my heart,

And from my mind would not depart;

Only one life, ’twill soon be past, 

Only what’s done for Christ will last.

 

Only one life, yes only one,

Soon will its fleeting hours be done;

Then, in ‘that day’ my Lord to meet,

And stand before His Judgement seat;

Only one life,’twill soon be past,

Only what’s done for Christ will last.

 

Only one life, the still small voice,

Gently pleads for a better choice

Bidding me selfish aims to leave,

And to God’s holy will to cleave;

Only one life, ’twill soon be past,

Only what’s done for Christ will last.

 

Only one life, a few brief years,

Each with its burdens, hopes, and fears;

Each with its clays I must fulfill,

living for self or in His will;

Only one life, ’twill soon be past,

Only what’s done for Christ will last.

 

When this bright world would tempt me sore,

When Satan would a victory score;

When self would seek to have its way,

Then help me Lord with joy to say;

Only one life, ’twill soon be past,

Only what’s done for Christ will last.

 

Give me Father, a purpose deep,

In joy or sorrow Thy word to keep;

Faithful and true what e’er the strife,

Pleasing Thee in my daily life;

Only one life, ’twill soon be past,

Only what’s done for Christ will last.

 

Oh let my love with fervor burn,

And from the world now let me turn;

Living for Thee, and Thee alone,

Bringing Thee pleasure on Thy throne;

Only one life, ’twill soon be past,

Only what’s done for Christ will last.

 

Only one life, yes only one,

Now let me say,”Thy will be done”;

And when at last I’ll hear the call,

I know I’ll say “twas worth it all”;

Only one life,’twill soon be past,

Only what’s done for Christ will last.

 
LifeChris WrightComment