Yesterday I attended the memorial service for an 89-year-old woman, the mother of a good friend. The service began with a medley of well-known hymns including “Great is Thy Faithfulness” and “Because He Lives.” It continued with her children and grandchildren sharing memories of her life and stories of her influence on them. One common thread wove throughout her story: her unwavering faith in Jesus Christ.
This woman lived out her faith in every day life, and she encouraged others to do the same:
She prayed for her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren by name. She frequently shared scriptures with others, pointing them to God’s promises as the source of hope. She prayed for and emailed missionaries to remind them that they were in her thoughts. She trusted the Lord through thick and thin, and she experienced plenty of the latter especially when she became a widow, and when cancer struck her daughter and a grandson. But through it all, she radiated Jesus to everyone she met. What a tremendous legacy she left!
This morning I read Luke 10:38-42—the story of Mary and Martha. One day Jesus showed up at their home unexpectedly with His disciples. Martha flew into a dither preparing dinner; Mary sat at the Savior’s feet listening to every word He said. Martha felt annoyed at Mary’s seeming irresponsibility and accused Jesus of not caring about her workload. Jesus responded, “My dear Martha, you are so upset over all those details! There is really only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it—and I won’t take it from her.”
The woman whose life we celebrated yesterday obviously discovered the one thing worth being concerned about. She spent time in Jesus’ presence daily, and it showed. Her legacy of loving the Savior and living by faith in Him has inspired many to follow in her footsteps.
I left the service challenged to keep first things first. I, too, want to leave a legacy that inspires others to love Jesus and to live wholeheartedly for Him. That desire will come true as I spend private time in His presence every day, and as I practice His presence throughout each day. My prayer is that He will guard my heart and mind from being consumed and distracted by details that don’t really matter in the big picture.
What legacy would you like to leave? If you could sum it up in one sentence, what would it be?