No Reserves, No Retreats, No Regrets

Don’t put out the Spirit’s fire. (1 Thessalonians 5:19 GW) 

William Bordon, after he graduated from high school in 1904, was called to be a missionary. At different points in Bordon’s short life, he wrote in the back of his Bible, no reserves, no retreats, no regrets. 

Though he came from a very wealthy family, wealth did not possess him. Early on in his life, a friend expressed that he was throwing his life away by becoming a missionary—he wrote in his Bible, no reserves. After he graduated from Yale, he was offered very lucrative positions—he penned, no retreats. His missionary call narrowed to a Muslim group in China. After doing graduate work at Princeton Seminary, he left for Egypt to study Arabic before arriving in China. In Egypt, he contracted spinal meningitis and within a month was dead at age twenty-five. Before his death, under the other two notations he had made in his Bible, he wrote—no regrets. 

 William Borden’s seemingly untimely death a waste of human life? Absolutely not. Thousands of people have read his story and have been encouraged in their missionary call. God never wastes any of our sorrows. 

Things happen to Christians. We experience what we don’t expect, and some expectations don’t come to fruition. The Christian life often entails disappointments that we can’t understand, but God uses them for his ultimate good. God lives in the eternal now. God makes decisions based on past, present, and future considerations. Humans remember the past imperfectly, know what is happening now, and nothing about the future. God dwells on eternal priorities, man on temporal ones. Our heavenly Father always knows best.

Church history is littered with people who have done great things for God yet had become sullen and cynical at the end of their lives. Things happened to them that may have seemed unfair or unjust. Some ended their lives in unbelief rather than faith in God. We, like William Borden, at the end of our journey, need to be able to say, no reserves, no retreats, no regrets. 

The image is used with permission by Microsoft. 

Ken Barnes, the author of  “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places”  YWAM Publishing
Ken Barnes’ Book Site

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