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It’s Not About Us; Lighten the load

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The 6 of us

He’s on his way!

“Mom, I have some news for you and it may not be easy for you to take. I feel God is calling me (and my wife, or and my wife and children) to the mission field.” 

     For many parents that’s a bombshell of a newsflash. Depending upon the family status of our child, it may throw us into a chaos of emotions. 

     Perhaps, having undergone such an experience myself, I could offer some advice on what to avoid.

   As parents (and family members), thoughts begin to flood our minds of all that we will have to sacrifice. Yet as soon as the initial storm has subsided (and that time varies for everyone), we must come to terms with its effect.

     Even though their news strikes us at the core, we must be sensitive to the agony our children are experiencing. Remember, this is a calling God has placed upon their lives. Before coming to us with their announcement, our children have spent much time pondering and praying over their decision. 

    For the sake of our children, we must be willing to scrutinize our reaction to their news. Were we more concerned over how this will affect us? Of the sacrifices and the pain that will now color our future? On behalf of our children, we must not be afraid to ask ourselves the following question:

     Have we made this all about us?

     We must not forget that as our children serve on the mission field, they will face difficult days and situations. The difficulty of saying goodbye to their families is only the beginning. If we are in despair over their leaving, we must understand that only adds to the burdens they are already carrying.  

     Yes, we are hurting! There’s no need to pretend we are not. But our children need to know that we are depending upon God (not our child) to carry this burden.

The end result of our resolve will serve to lighten their load.

Because we have chosen NOT to make it all about us.

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Sacrifice brings glory?

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Maridith's washing machine!

A few days ago Bobby & Maridith posted this picture.  They had been visiting the people who are living in the house they hope to be moving into in a few weeks.  Maridith is preparing the washing machine they will be using for 4 adults and 3 small children.

A sweet lady at my church, after seeing this picture made the following comment, “I now have a whole new appreciation for my electric washing machine and dryer, and for the sacrifices Bobby & Maridith are making.”  This lady loves Bobby & Maridith and supports them in prayer and various other ways, so I knew that God was doing a work in her about sacrifice.

Her statement prompted a thought of my own.  Sacrifice is something we are all called to.  What it looks like for others may be different than what it looks like for us, but we can’t live for Jesus as we should if we aren’t willing to make sacrifices.

AND THEREIN LIES THE PROBLEM!

The issue of sacrifice is completely foreign to most Americans, given the luxuries that are ours in abundance.  For those of us who are Christians, this abundance makes it difficult to keep the concept of sacrifice in balance.  Here in America materialism makes sacrifice an unattractive concept.

And for some of us it’s not so much the material things we would have to give up but giving up our children and grandchildren to answer a call that would lead them to a far away place becomes the greater challenge.

But does anything of great worth in this life come without sacrifice?  I think not.  My mind ponders the gripping pain of contractions that brings the birth of a child.  You ask any mother if the sacrifices her body endured during her pregnancy was worth it and you’ll hear a resounding yes!  Great sacrifice brings great rewards.

And, of course, the most powerful of all sacrifices was made by Jesus when He paid the price for our sins on the cross.  The Bible gives irrefutable evidence that Jesus thought His sacrifice was worth it!  Your own salvation says as much!

Here’s the deal.  It’s all about perspective.  A mother willing makes sacrifices during her pregnancy because her focus is on the baby that will be born. Jesus was able to make His sacrifice because He looked beyond the cross.

“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” – (Hebrews 12:2)

So when we are called upon to make sacrifices (like giving up your children to go live in a foreign land and having to become a long distance grandmother when those babies start coming), we have to avoid focusing on the sacrifice and instead focus on the glory.  Just think of the souls that will be introduced to Jesus because your child was willing to make sacrifices so those souls could hear the Good News. (When you get to heaven, that’s going to be a really big deal!)  Just think of the adventure and experiences they will have and don’t be surprised if God includes you in some of those along the way.  If we can get ourselves out of the way and start focusing on how our children’s lives will be blessed and benefited, (and ours too) because they answered God’s call upon their lives and we were willing to give them up, then the sacrifices made begins to dim and the glory we and they will experience  grows brighter.

Now, take a look at this picture:

How would you like to wake up to this view every morning?

 Bobby wrote the following words after being inspired by such a view,

….I have found a new peace here. A peace that comes not from the serenity that surrounds me, nature can be deceiving, but from my God, the One who brought me here. What is it that You have brought me here to do? Am I ready? Will I be strong enough? God help me to trust in You for all of this. It is You who brought me here, it is You who will keep me.

The God that created the beauty surrounding them, will tenderly and lovingly provide for my son and daughter-in-law’s every need.  They are willing to trust Him and follow Him.  I will do no less!  Was their sacrifice and mine worth it?  Already, I can give a resounding, YES!

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