It is a question we all wonder at one time or another: What can we do to repay the debt we owe to Christ? What can we do for the One who has done so much for us? What cost would be sufficient and what length of service would be adequate?
James Edmeston once pondered this in the form of a poetic prayer and concluded that there is nothing we can do for “earthly years are all too few” and “earthly treasures all too few.” His poem, titled “Gratitude,” is worth reading and lifting as a prayer to the Lord.
What can I, my Saviour, do,
To repay the debt I owe?
Earthly years are all too few,
Earthly treasures all too low!
Shall I cease with men to dwell,
Every mortal love resign;
Hide me in some hermit’s cell,
And feast in solitude on thine?
Shall the sun of noontide day,
And the lamp of middle night,
Witness how I praise and pray,
Ceaseless as the moment’s flight?
Shall I labour for thy poor,
For the souls whom thou hast bought;
Pain and poverty endure,
To afford thy children aught?
Shall I fly to spread thy name
In the lands of heathen night?
Shall I court the martyr’s flame,
And seal my faith with suffering bright?
Shall each talent thou hast given
Wholly consecrated be,
And rise, like incense, up to heaven,
Offered gratefully to thee?
Vain to pay the debt I owe,
All the service I can do!
Earthly good is far too low,
Earthly years are far too few!