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Compensations of sacrifice

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   A call from God can present some difficult challenges. So God always equips those He calls. God called my son and my daughter in law to the mission field.  Therefore, they have been and continue to be equipped by God to be able to deal with the challenges of such a life. But just as my son received God’s call to go, I received God’s call as well–to let him go.  

  Since their departure, God has given me opportunities I could never have imagined.   I’ve traveled to Peru where I have walked the ancient stone paths of Machu Picchu. In Africa I experienced the excitement of a safari, floated down the Nile River of Moses fame, and lived in a thatched roof mud hut in the savannah bush. A lifelong dream to go to Scotland was fulfilled not once but 3 times while my son studied for his masters at the University of Edinburgh.

   All of these adventures went a long way in compensating me for the sacrifice God had called upon me to make. But these adventures alone couldn’t have made up for the heartache my son’s exodus brought about.

But the following  has

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4

My pain forced me to rely on God

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

In God I found comfort

The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears, and delivers them from all their troubles.  The LORD is near the brokenhearted; He saves those crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:17

I learned to focus on God, not my pain

  You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on You. Isaiah 26:33
  It was good for me to be affected so that I could learn Your statues. Instructions from Your lips is better for me than thousands of gold and silver pieces. Psalm 119:71

I learned that my pain would not overwhelm me

Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning, great is Your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23

I have drawn again and again upon the lessons I’ve learned from my experience as a missionary’s mom. And that is compensation far beyond any sacrifice I could have made.

 

Sensitivity; not Sympathy!

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Recently, someone told me they felt led of the LORD to pray that my son would come home. 

Appreciative of their caring heart, I shared the following:

If our son comes home, just because we want him home, he would have to step outside the LORD’s will. But for our son, the center of God’s will right now is to be in a land far away from us; not near us. While our son’s calling was to go, our calling was to let him go. And as God equips our son to live the life of his calling, so God equips us to live the life of our calling. 

So as you pray for us, consider this:

   Just because you may witness tears in our eyes as we talk about our son and his family, that doesn’t mean we need them to come home. We are just expressing a love deeply felt. We need compassion at times like these; not sympathy.

   God has His way of working things out for our good, equipping us to walk the path before us successfully. In my case, after those first few painful months, I found the pain grew less intense. In it’s place, God put a numbness. I liken it to what the doctor did for me as I was feeling the full impact of my contractions in the delivery room. He gave me a pain medication that took the top edge off the contraction. I still felt the pain but because it wasn’t as intense it was manageable. Therefore, in like manner, God didn’t remove the pain of living separated from my son and his family, He made it manageable.  And because of this, my joy is beyond describing; my peace beyond understanding. 

   Unless you walk a path similar to ours, it will be hard to understand what we are feeling. Therefore, if you base your prayers for us on your feelings about what we are going through, then you may not be able to discern the best way to pray. 

   Therefore, may I suggest, using verses like the following as a guide when you pray for those of us who have been called to “let go”: 

It was good for me to be afflicted so that I could learn Your statutes. Psalm 119:71 HCSB

He who heeds the word wisely will find good, And whoever trust in the LORD, happy is he. Proverbs 16:20 NKJV

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