Have you ever been the executor of an estate? My husband is in the bizarre situation of being the executor of an estate for someone he barely knew and never personally met. We recently spent a few days categorising the contents of the deceased’s house.
There we were, sorting through someone’s life.
Yet those things do not define the man. They gave us a clue as to his interests such as what books he liked to read, and his tastes in furniture and art, but who was he? What was he like? Besides the legacy of property and possessions which he had bequested, what was his personal legacy? How has he impacted those who now remember him?
What will be my personal legacy? What will be yours?
My husband and I spent hours sorting out the man’s things. As we did I couldn’t help wondering if going through a life crisis results in one having a life impacting epiphany. An “aha” moment where God reveals some grand mission to now be accomplished? Or a grand truth that forever changes the way one thinks? Would I have one once my cancer treatment is finished?
Fast forward a few weeks later to my birthday. As is our tradition every family member takes turns around the dinner table to say something they admire about the birthday person.
It has been a tough year for us, but each of our adult children said something they were grateful for, and encouraged me as the birthday girl with uplifting thoughts about what they most appreciated about me.
It was a humbling experience. I was only too aware of my battles this year – there’s been many times I have felt ungracious, ungrateful, impatient and frustrated! Yet my children saw fruit, fruit that had actually built their faith…unbeknown to me.
Later that night as I lay in bed God spoke to my heart. “This is your legacy…children who love Me and serve Me. They are walking in their giftings and bearing much fruit.” I was overcome with gratitude. I then recalled a devotion a friend had shared with me about spiritual fruit. I highly recommend following the link to have a read. I summarise here what I gleaned from it.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” (Gal 5: 22-23 NKJV)
Just as apples, pears, oranges and every other fruit produce seed after their own kind, likewise spiritual fruit also produces seed after its own kind. Isn’t God amazing?
The spiritual fruit which He desires to grow in us, is not just for our own benefit. It is designed to produce further fruit.
We reap what we sow, but the nature of seeds is that we also reap more than we sow! The patience we display towards another has the potential to “seed” more patience in them. The love we show another has the potential to seed more love in them, the joy, the long-suffering, the faithfulness, the kindness…each fruit of the spirit carries that seeding potential. The nature of seeds is that we don’t see immediate results. Therefore,
Our spiritual fruit now can produce a spiritual legacy then!
I am no longer wondering if I’m supposed to have some grand “aha” moment post all this cancer stuff. Maybe I will, maybe I won’t. My job is simply to abide.
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.” (John 15:1-8 NKJV)
Therefore the greatest personal legacy anyone can pass on is actually seeds. Lots and lots of seeds!