The Lady Elgin, a steamer ship, in 1860 was on her way to Chicago carrying 400 passengers. The Lady Elgin collided with a schooner and 297 passengers lost their lives in Lake Michigan. A Bible Institute student from Evanston, Illinois, who was an excellent swimmer, tied a rope around his waist and plunged into the frigid waters of Lake Michigan time and again and swam to rescue passengers from the wreckage. Edwin finally collapsed in sheer exhaustion after rescuing his seventeenth passenger. In delirium he was heard to ask over and over, “Did I do my best?” Young Edwin Spenser would spend the rest of his life as an invalid as a result of his heroic deeds that tragic evening. Almost 75 years later, musician E. D. Young heard this story and penned the prying words to the hymn, Have I Done My Best for Jesus.
I wonder have I done my best for Jesus,
Who died upon the cruel tree?
To think of His great sacrifice at Calvary!
I know my Lord expects the best from me.
The hours that I have wasted are so many
The hours I’ve spent for Christ so few;
Because of all my lack of love for Jesus,
I wonder if His heart is breaking too.
I wonder have I cared enough for others,
Or have I let them die alone?
I might have helped a wand’rer to the Saviour,
The seed of precious Life I might have sown.
How many are the lost that I have lifted?
How many are the chained I’ve helped to free?
I wonder, have I done my best for Jesus,
When He has done so much for me?
As we close out the final days of 2011, will you probe your heart with Spenser’s question? As a steward of many gifts from God, have you used them wisely? As a parent, leader, or employee, have you done your best at your duties? As a recipient of God’s free salvation have you shared the good news of the Gospel as passionately as you ought? As one hurt or offended by another have you genuinely forgiven? As a student of God’s word have you done your best? Regardless of how you have done up to this point- you can finish the year well! What would God have you do in the closing days of this spent year? Perhaps, Spenser’s question would be a great one to daily ask yourself.
E. D. Young’s final verse of his hymn provide a great resolve for us to sing and live as the dawn of a new year swiftly approaches.
No longer will I stay within the valley
I’ll climb to mountain heights above;
The world is dying now for want of someone
To tell them of the Savior’s matchless love.
Pick a course in BBN Bible Institute or finish one before 2012 arrives. Tell a friend how BBNBI has influenced your life.