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Leaving a Legacy

Several years after God healed me of cancer, I walked the halls of the hospital for my routine checkups. Hospitals always bring back my old memories of feeling terrified and trapped. As I walked down one of the halls, I saw patients attached to tubes and IV poles, being wheeled in their hospital beds with scared, half-conscious faces, wondering what was happening to them. I couldn't help but think, why do we have to walk through the valley of the shadow of death before we realize that our lives are precious?

                How many of these people, I wondered, found themselves unexpectedly on their death bed, mourning not because of the pain of needles, treatments, and surgeries, but at their wasted lives? Oh, what they would give to get it back and do things right. To live for something greater and to truly use their lives.

                This reality always challenges and convicts me to make the most of every moment I'm given. I often think about the legacy that I want to leave on this earth. How do I want to be remembered? How do I hope to change this world before I leave it?

                When we begin to look at the incredible issues and needs flooding all around us, it can feel overwhelming. But if we each start to take our place and live out our calling, one by one these needs would be ministered to. Often many of us say, "someone should do something about that", when we hear of a tragic circumstance. But what if today, that someone is you? We aren't called to single-handedly rescue everyone; God calls us to purposefully impact someone.

                When I was at the beach a while ago, I became mesmerized by the ocean. I saw how some waves rose up in the distance, powerfully brewing far from the shore. Other waves were hardly noticeable and would softly disappear as they reached the dry sand. But when the large waves finally crashed up on the beach, they touched everything. I realized our lives are like these waves. There are countless waves that crash along the shore each day, but only some leave an impact. Either we blend in and get lost, or we rise above the norm for the powerful mission we've received.

At the end of the day, we're left with two earth-shattering questions:

Will you live out the purpose God's given you? Or, will you waste your life?

There really are only two options.

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God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
- James1:12 NLT
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Dear God, sometimes my "testing" season seems so long. Please give me courage to endure until the end. Help me not to bail! You said you would bless me for hanging in there - I will not give up on you or your promises. You are with me and will see me through this trial.