I just finished a biography called E.M. Bounds: Man of Prayer by Lyle Dorsett. In this biography Lyle Dorsett writes about the life of E.M. Bounds through reading and collecting every scrap of information he could find on him. Since very little had previously been written about this great man of prayer, Lyle Dorsett, was forced to do a lot of digging. Fortunately the family of E.M. Bounds made available to him for the first time a private collection of personal letters, notes and telegraphs that E.M Bounds had written himself and received. From these personal correspondences and scraps of paper Lyle Dorsett was able to accumulate, Lyle was able to compile them and write an accurate account of his life.
I was amazed at the faith in this man’s life, how he responded to some of the greatest tragedies and trials of losing his first wife, two of his children, walking away from a prominent position to be faithful to what the word of God taught, to even the smallest details of his life, found in the private collections of letters. His attitude towards God was always humble and faithful. It seemed only fitting that even the scraps of such a great life, would be found to be as holy and righteous as the man was.
Personally, this made me wonder what others will find after I leave the world behind & my family begins picking up the scraps of my life and gathering them together as all that is left of me. One day all the scraps of my life, all my letters, journals, books, pieces of saved paper, will be gathered up, sifted through for value, many of these items will be thrown away or burned. Much of what I have now is digital and will probably be deleted. Pictures, videos, writings, emails. All the contents of my jewelry box, all the contents of my “hope chest” that I keep in my closet will one day end up on a table at flea market What is precious and priceless to me now, might go for a quarter. This really doesn’t say much for the contents of my jewelry box and hope chest, but this is reality. My husband, my children, my sisters, my friends may hold onto these items for several years, until the end of their lifetime even, but their final destination is a a table of meaningless scraps, to be sifted through by the cold hands of strangers looking for something that it is of slightest value.
I wonder what the scraps of my life will say about how truly I loved God and others. Will I be found faithful when the scraps of my life are examined or will my scraps have another story to tell?
Reading this book, made me think about how valuable the scraps are of our lives will be and how we will be tested through them. It caused me to consider how even the scraps of our lives should be found as righteous and holy if the man or woman who shed them is righteous and holy. Why should they be any different? This biography made me think of all the great men of God who’s letters, and memories I treasure and preserve which still encourage me even though they lived decades before me. And they will even continue to encourage and strengthen others for generations yet to come. I for one am extremely grateful for all the scraps they left behind. Like the 12 baskets of bread gathered from the one loaf, the scraps of their life are still infinitely valuable and still continue to feed others.
I can’t wait to get to heaven, and in one endless day to thank such men and woman whose scraps have come to mean so much to me and have offered me so much encouragement and fed me so well. I can’t wait to tell them how much God used their writing in my life to mature me, to encourage me, to convict me and bring me much joy and comfort. Part of me feels like I have known them, and known them well, even though my eyes have never seen their faces. I know their hearts. I know their love for God. I know their love for others. I know their sacrifices. I know their fears. I know their spirit through the scraps they left behind which were saturated with the spirit of God. And because I know the spirit which we share, I know that we are family and we would have been friends. We would have had much to say to one another if we had been given the opportunity to meet, to talk and enjoy Jesus together.
I pray one day the leftover scraps of my life, will shout with their same message and be but an echo beside them, shouting in chorus: “Run!, Don’t give up! He is faithful! He is worth it! Forget this world, take the baton and run! Run with all the energy, all the strength God has provided you with! Run! Run the distance God has set before you whither it be short or long! Run! Throw off everything that hinders you and the sin that so easily entangles and run! Run and I will see you on the other side of the finish line, beside Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, your reward and beside all the saints who are also cheering for you. Run!“
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. – Heb 12:1