Sarah Grace’s birthday card from my grandma came in the mail this week, but since it was raining, it got soaked. So, I opened it up, and set it out to dry. I wish I had read it first, too, because a few days later at lunch, she was telling her daddy it was an awful day to start a no-sugar week. He started laughing, but she said, “No! Really! I read my birthday card and it’s the first one without Granddaddy’s name in it.” Her tears were falling before the second word, and I can’t even type that without crying. The ache when I think about going home to a grave, instead of a hug, hurts more than I even imagined.
Every once in a while, the cost of following Jesus to the foreign mission field just seems so very high. And you know what? That’s because it is. Is it worth it, though? Absolutely. Was it a high cost for Jesus to die on the cross for sins He didn’t commit? Yes. Was it worth it for Him? He thought so, and I am so thankful He did.
There are a lot of things in this world with a high cost, and we just accept that we have to pay: freedom, medical care, food, gas, big screen t.v., cell phone, vacations,… Many times we don’t even bat an eye at the price tag. We might sigh and shrug as we pull out the credit card, but we still pull out the credit card. Yet, so often when it comes to following Jesus, we tell Him, “No! That’s too much, Lord. I can’t do that. Sorry. How about I (__fill in the blank__) instead? Surely, that is okay? Right?” Just because I am a missionary, doesn’t mean I am not guilty of this as well. Sigh.
But I have verses I go to when these thoughts hit. Verses about His strength, about praising Him, about His power. I will read the about the crucifixion and resurrection, or I will sit in the book of Acts, because I pretty much cannot read either of those without being convicted. I have another set of verses I gravitate towards as well.
Luke 9: 57-62 (also found in Matthew 8: 19-22) “And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God. And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”
See, after I read my first missionary biography, I started begging to Lord to let me be a missionary. I knew He would have to work on Ahmet’s heart, and I knew it would mean leaving everything familiar, but I also knew, God could do it. When God did finally (very clearly) tell us both we were going to be missionaries, I was ready to sell everything and hop on the next plane out-wherever it was going. Thankfully, my husband and pastor have more patience and sense, and we did our training first. At the time, it did not even seem like a sacrifice to “YES!” Yet, since then, there have been times I have had to admit to myself that the cost is high, and indeed, there is a sacrifice involved. But I asked for this life, and I am thankful and willing to sacrifice for Him.
Is it hard? Sometimes, yes. But, I do not think most people see this side of the missionary. We put on our courageous face, looking to Jesus, and we walk forward down His path, and that is what most people see. What they miss are the shaking hands, the hours on our knees, the heart beat that is going crazy, and tears shown only to God. Why this is, I have no idea. Maybe it is because we know the courage and strength to follow Jesus, no matter the cost, can only come from Him. It is in the secret of His presence we find His will, and it is in the same place we find our resolve to make it ours.
Is it worth it? Always. Always. Always. There are many promises given to the faithful follower, but not a one is greater than the promise of His presence. Knowing I am not alone, makes it easier to not look back.
What has God asked you to do that has been hard? Do you have a favorite verse(s) for when you find the cost too high? I would love to know!
Hi! My name is Rachael and I am a child of God. I was saved from sin and all its bondage at the age of 21. I am married to an incredible man. He constantly challenges me to grow closer to my Saviour. We have three beautiful children that love the Lord. Currently, our family is preparing to go to Thailand as missionaries.