After a nasty fall, a good friend of mine finds himself in a skilled nursing facility. His recuperation will take many months, and he is already restless. He loves to read, so I took him a publication that detailed the life and ministry of evangelist Billy Graham.
The ministry of few men can compare to the amazing outreach of Billy Graham. As my friend and I looked through the review of his life, we were captured by the compassion of this well-known evangelist. There were pictures of his various crusades, and meetings with world leaders. There were also testimonies of individuals who found Christ through his anointed preaching.
We were reminded of a phrase that Billy Graham often used in college commencement addresses. These challenging words still resonate today. The phrase is: “No reserve, no retreat, and no regrets.”
Billy Graham explained that this phrase was written on the inside cover of the Bible of a young missionary who died while still under the age of 30. William Borden was born into a wealthy American family. If he chose to follow in the footsteps of his father, William would certainly have a successful life. All of his needs would be provided, and he could enjoy abundance.
But while still a youth, William met Jesus and everything changed. He no longer sought the wealth of the world. Instead, he saw the fortune of the human soul, and after renouncing his inheritance, he became a missionary of the Gospel. Once this world provided William wealth. Now, he had the opportunity to win treasured souls to Jesus.
After completing his formal education, William headed to Egypt for language school.
Unfortunately, he contracted a life-threatening disease, and died too soon. This story leaves us with so many unanswered questions, but we can only trust the Providence of God, and as the old song says, “we will understand it better by and by.”
However, as his mother looked through William's Bible, she came across this phrase: “No reserve, no retreat, and no regrets.” It is surmised that when William renounced his fortune, he wrote “No reserve.” Then, when the family had to move on with other leadership, thus forever closing the door for William to return, he wrote “No retreat.” Then, as he finally left school for the mission field, he wrote “No regrets.”
What a challenge to each of us. Even in my latter years, these words stir my spirit to do more for Jesus. The wealth of this world cannot compare to one soul finding Jesus as Savior. Oh, that more would turn their back on comfort and prosperity, and leave it all for the opportunity to tell someone about Jesus.
May we all live with this phrase: “No reserves, no retreat, and no regrets.”