November 1, 2020

Only One Life, ‘Twill Soon Be Past

Studd saw that the things of this life are fleeting—money, fame, flattery, health—and tuning eyes to eternity and pen to paper, wrote this beautiful poem.

Only One Life, ‘Twill Soon Be Past

As I write, I am standing at the window of my isolated hospital room looking at the Rocky Mountains—oxygen tubes stuck in my nose, sweating profusely, trying to remember to breathe properly.

I've contracted COVID.  

But my heart is full of joy, friends. Why shouldn't it be? God is good. He reigns supreme. He holds me in the palm of His hand, He knew me before I was born, He calls me among his own, for "He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in  the Beloved" (Ephesians 1:5-6).

So my body feels rather run down right now, but my heart feels good. The saints have been praying. Considering these things, I was reminded of a poem from an old cricketer-missionary and one of the Cambridge Seven, Charles Thomas Studd. Studd saw that the things of this life are fleeting—money, fame, flattery, health—and tuning eyes to eternity and pen to paper, wrote this beautiful poem.


Two little lines I heard one day,
Traveling along life’s busy way;
Bringing conviction to my heart,
And from my mind would not depart;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last

Only one life, yes only one,
Soon will its fleeting hours be done;
Then, in ‘that day’ my Lord to meet,
And stand before His Judgement seat;
Only one life,’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last

Only one life, the still small voice,
Gently pleads for a better choice,
Bidding me selfish aims to leave,
And to God’s holy will to cleave;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, a few brief years,
Each with its burdens, hopes, and fears;
Each with its clays I must fulfill,
Living for self or in His will;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

When this bright world would tempt me sore,
When Satan would a victory score;
When self would seek to have its way,
Then help me Lord with joy to say;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Give me Father, a purpose deep,
In joy or sorrow Thy word to keep;
Faithful and true what e’er the strife,
Pleasing Thee in my daily life;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Oh let my love with fervor burn,
And from the world now let me turn;
Living for Thee, and Thee alone,
Bringing Thee pleasure on Thy throne;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, yes only one,
Now let me say,”Thy will be done”;
And when at last I’ll hear the call,
I know I’ll say “twas worth it all”;
Only one life,’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.