It’s what he lost; not what he won

A Scottish hero was Eric Liddell
Though he left the fold,
To preach the Kingdom in China
Despite His fame and gold.

He won the gold in the 400
And bronze in the 200 too,
In the 1924 Olympics 
And a rugby man through and through.

But Jesus asked the question
What would you give for your soul ?
If you choose to lose your life
You gain life greater than gold.

After a short forty three years
He heard the Father’s “well done”
For what makes him a hero
Is what he lost, not what he won.

Eric Liddell was a Scottish medalist and rugby international who gave it all up to be a missionary in China. The Japanese held him in a concentration camp for allied prisoners in China. In 2008 Chinese authorities revealed that Liddell had refused an opportunity to leave the camp and instead gave his place to a pregnant woman. Apparently, the Japanese made a deal with the British, with Churchill’s approval, for prisoner exchange. Then he died there. 

In 1900 there were an estimated 100,000 Christians in China. The Chinese communist armies tried to supress christianity. By 1950 the number had increased to 700,000. Helped by strong missionaries, the Chinese Christian church began to become an indigenous movement. The official figures are that there are 77 million Christians now. Some estimate that you can add another 100 million to that figure in underground house churches. These figures are at the time of writing this poem; July 2012, during the London Olympics. 

As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison. Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word. (Acts 8:3, 4 NKJV)

This is a man who gave so much of his life for the Kingdon of God. There is much to discover about him. He proved that victory comes from losing; not winning.

(Note: watch the winner of the 100, 200 and 400 metres final in any Olympics now, and compare to Eric Liddell’s attitude.)


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