Doing all three for Jesus.
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!
This blog was started in June of 2013 and has all of 43 published posts. I have no idea how many followers, because the last time I added that plugin (I think that is what it is called) the whole thing crashed, and I have been too scared to try again. Plus, my pride probably doesn’t need to know. I have an issue with writing lots and lots….and then not posting. Pride, perfectionism, and many other reasons prevent me from hitting the “publish” button. But then I realized something! I live a pretty great life! It is interesting, fun, and unique in so many ways. I want to remember this awesome stage of my life, and I don’t want to have to dig through journal after journal to enjoy these memories. Technology allows me to pull up my site, and–BAM–there it is for me to click and read–except there is not much to read at this point. Not cool!
So, from this realization comes a new commitment to write at least one post a week. It is not likely to be profound, super special, touching, or life changing, but it will share my life over here with you (or me in the future that comes back to read about the me now.)
I am currently in the middle of a Whole30 detox. Right. In. The. Middle. Actually, it has not been bad, except for the coffee. Techinically, I can have coffee–with no sweetener whatsoever, and only almond or coconut milk to make it creamy. So….I’ll pass. I have a goal for this Whole30, and it is so much bigger than a food group, and I think that helps.
Our pastor came to see us last week! It was so awesome! Visitors on the mission field are 1. fantastic 2. work 3. more fantastic than they are work. However, he was only fantastic! If you want to come see us, just give me a plane rides notice. Seriously! It takes about 24 hours to fly here from America, so just give me a call as you are boarding the plane. 🙂
Sunday, Ahmet asked our youngest daughter to do the video update, and she was not happy. She is 12, almost 13, and may have some of her father’s and mother’s perfectionist tendencies. Please note–Ahmet’s tendencies are stronger than mine. Except when it comes to cleaning. I win there. That meant we did a Rachael & Rachel update. Hey! I literally just thought of that and since our names are not spelled the same (ask Ahmet why) it totally works! Anyway, that was just the start of an off-kilter Sunday morning. Somehow, Ahmet’s notes printed out backwards, the computer went crazy, and the Sunday School lesson was left at home. Thankfully, that is not a normal Sunday! I sat in front of AJ, and got to hear him sing, and he has a low voice!!! When I mentioned it on the way home, Sarah said, “I know! It’s surprising considering his speaking voice.” Aj responded with, “Ouch.” And I just cried while I laughed, which is really dangerous when you are driving in Bangkok.
Verses from my Bible reading this week:
Luke 8 & 9 (so many verses copied in my journal)
Colossian 4:12 “Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.” I just want to be an Epaphras!
1 Chronicles 22: 19 “Now set your heart and your soul to seek the Lord your God; arise therefore, and build ye the sanctuary of the Lord God, to bring the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and the holy vessels of God, into the house that is to be built to the name of the Lord.”
Psalm 130: 3-5 “If thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared. I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.” I am so, so thankful for His forgiveness. My “theme” this year is His Word, and He has been showing me just how important it is in my life. The power and peace that can be found when I read His words, never ceases to amaze me!
That’s it for this week! I don’t have any idea what next week’s post will look like, but now that I have decided to do this, I will be taking notes throughout the week.
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.