“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7, ESV).
Andrew Jackson’s time was running short. The seventh president of the United States—nicknamed “Old Hickory” for his legendary stubbornness and toughness—had served his country honorably both in war and in statecraft. Now nearing death, he gathered his loved ones around him at his Hermitage estate so he could share his goodbyes and parting sentiments.
Always the Christian patriot, Jackson reminded those around him of their national heritage. Pointing to the family bible that he had used every day for both family worship and private devotions, he remarked to the attending physician, “That book, sir, is the rock on which our republic rests. It is the bulwark of our free institutions.”
Later, Jackson called up his grandchildren, one by one, and gave a blessing to each of them individually. He reminded them to obey their parents and encouraged them to persevere in the faith, “keep holy the Sabbath day and read the New Testament.”
Turning to his slaves who were also gathered around his bed, Jackson then shared the gospel hope with them one last time. “Christ has no respect to color. My dear children and friends and servants, I hope to meet you all in Heaven—yes, all in Heaven, black and white,” he told them.
By this time, everyone in the room was weeping, but he sought to comfort them: “Oh, do not cry—be good children, and we will all meet in Heaven,” he said. After these last few words, the former president passed into the arms of his Savior—leaving behind a legacy of faith and service.
PRAYER: God, thank you for the hope that I have in Christ. Revive my heart and restore my zeal for serving you and serving others. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.