Leaving Something Behind

In my last move I inherited a couple of suitcases full of old family photos, old anniversary and birthday cards and a few bits and pieces of paper with handwritten notes from my mother. The pictures are often what prompt that "I wish there was someone to ask about …" statement. Many of us look back and wish we had more information on certain people and certain events from our past. Perhaps it is this desire that has prompted many people to encourage the elderly members of their families to write down their stories while they still can. These stories can then be passed down to the next generation.

Peter had similar concerns as he sat down to write the Book of 2 Peter. He knew his time was short and he wanted to be sure that he left something behind after he was gone. He writes: "So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things" —2 Peter 1:12-15, NIV.

Peter didn't seem to be particularly interested in leaving behind the story of his life, even though he would have had some wonderful tales to tell his grandchildren, particularly about the years he walked and talked to Jesus and those early years of the church. Peter's concern was to leave behind a written record of important spiritual truths that he knew future generations needed to know.

Of course what Peter left behind is part of the inspired Word of God (2 Peter 1:16-21) and that's an "act" we can't follow. Nevertheless, we can leave behind the record of our spiritual journey and what we know to be true about our experiences with God so that those who follow us—especially those who might not be inclined to read the Scriptures—understand the story of redemption and reconciliation with God and how that all played out in our lives.

Today I read the scribblings of my mother, who wrote on every scrap of paper she should find, and I gain insight into her struggles and into those verses of Scripture that she claimed in order to rise above those struggles. I remember her as a "worrier" and so many of the verses have to do with that particular spiritual mountain in her life. Years after her death I have learned new facets of who she was and what she thought. Those things have made an impact on me since my mother's daughter sometimes tends to worry too!

We can leave behind many things for our children and grandchildren. But long after the money is spent and the china breaks and the silverware tarnishes, the words will remain. And those words of testimony are, in the end, much more precious than anything else could ever be.


  1. I have many of the same scraps of paper from my mom. I love reading where she wrote out scriptures or some inspired thought. Your post makes me think, what kind of statement will I leave behind someday? Wow! You always make me go a little deeper in the things of Christ! Blessings and Merrry Christmas to you my dear friend! RIta

  2. Beautiful reminder, Lynda. So true.


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