Many years ago, my older sister invited me to go with her to visit a retirement home in Lancaster, PA. She worked with O.M.F. (which was founded by the great missionary Hudson Taylor). This particular retirement home was supported by OMF for their missionaries who needed some place to spend their final years, after they were no longer physically able to continue on their various mission fields.
I joined her on this trip and we spent a week listening to the stories of this humble saints. We joined them for their prayer meetings, and sang hymns with them. It was truly a precious time, and incredibly impacting. Perhaps one of the most impacting moments of my life took place in the small apartment of a woman named Helen Cox. She was a sweet lady, with a weakened voice, and a warm smile.
We asked her about her life story. She showed pictures from her time in Thailand and other areas of Asia; she showed one picture of her husband with some folks he had led to the Lord, as they burned their idols. I then asked her, what she would say if given a five minute slot on the national nightly news.
She thought for a moment and then said, “Go out and serve the Lord, it’s worth it. It’s all worth it.” There is great wisdom in those simple words. Here was a woman who had given up the comforts of American life, the affluence she might have had, in order to take the Gospel to foreign shores full of idolatry. In the winter of her life she could still say, “It’s all worth it.”
For my honeymoon, I took my new wife to Lancaster, so that she could meet these faithful saints who had quite deeply influenced and impacted me. Helen remembered me, and she and the other retired missionaries added our new little family to their length prayer list. They met almost daily to pray for various people and ministries. One of them said, “We may not be able to be on the mission field, but we can still do battle on our knees.” And battle they did. Because Christ’s glory is worth it.
Helen has passed into glory this week. She was 97. Now, more than ever before, she would say to us that living to worship and serve Christ is worth it, it’s all worth it. There are a million clamoring voices which would convince us to spend our youth, strength, and money on ourselves and for our own glory. All that will turn to rubbish in the end. If you live for earth, it will all turn to ashen dust and regret in the end. If you live for Christ, He is your eternal reward not only in this life but in the one to come.
Rest in peace, dear Helen.