Sunday, February 8, 2009

Count the Cost

Just recently i received some very exciting news. Many of you may already know but my older sister is pregnant with her first child. Since my family has returned back to Africa she has both gotten married and now is expecting. We of course are very happy and excited for her but i must in all honesty say that my joy is somewhat diminished. For the first time since excepting the call to come to Africa, i have had the opportunity to really count the cost of being totally sold out for the Lord.

For me personally the physical sacrifices of living in a third world country have never really even phased me. I quickly adapt and adjust to leaving with less amenities. I have not for one minute felt that i was missing out. In fact in many ways i enjoy the ability to have more control over the influences in my children's lives. I am finding pleasure working in the garden and being able to enjoy the fruits and vegetable of my labor. For all this I am thankful.

But now for the first time i find myself mourning for what will never be. The Lord is now asking me to sacrifice something very valuable. I was not there to see my sister get married; not there to share in her joy or excitement. And now i am missing out on the memories of her growing bigger, her ultrasounds, feeling the baby move and welcoming in a beautiful child into this world. It is especially difficult since we are so close. She played such a important role in the birthing of all my four children that the idea of not really being able to be there for her makes my heart sad. This is a cost i had not really expected or at least not anticipated.

What has following Christ cost you?

For me up until now not much. I am only now beginning to experience the price that can be required in forsaking it all and following Him. Living in a culture that does not live by biblical standards,means that for many the decision to follow Christ cost them dearly. For a Muslim it means being disowned by family and friends, possibly loosing a job or business associates. For a new believer to stand for the truth may cost them a marriage or a family. We take for granted all the freedoms we have as Americans to live in a world without persecution of religion. Be thankful and say a prayer for all those who don't have such freedoms.

1Peter 5:9 "Resist him (Satan), steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world."