Sacrifice, what does it look like to people like me? What does it look like in a family? What does it look like to me and my family while living in the United States, the richest country to have ever occupied planet earth? Are we so arrogant to think that the couple bills that we drop into the offering plate is in anyway sacrificial? Or for those of us who tithe, is that really a sacrifice? A lousy ten percent of all the riches we have been blessed with, that is not a sacrifice. An inconvenience sometimes maybe, but a sacrifice? I don’t think so.
It is becoming harder and harder for me, living within the blessings that I do, to go around just living life like normal. There is suffering, hunger, pain, sickness, and a lack of knowledge about the saving grace of Jesus everywhere. Not just in some far off country but right in my own town, state, region and country. It hurts my heart.
I have lived most of my life for me. Pursuing happiness in all the things I could collect. Finding contentment in expensive meals and vacations. Feeling pride in thinking I was better than someone because of the job I had, the car I drove, the home I lived in, the places I’d been. It was all sin. None of it ever made me happy either. Maybe for a short time I felt fulfilled, but it never lasted. And in the course of chasing that false happiness, those that I love took a beating. Stand in the way of my success and I would probably run you over. What a waste. A meaningless waste.
My heart has been pulled in the direction of giving. Not in a small way but in a sacrificial way. A way that I can feel and that is uncomfortable, but to be honest I don’t know how, or where to begin. I have a large family with a lot of needs. I have a job where I make a decent living, but I hate it and wish that I could do something else. I am looking for a home to rent for my family and I am tempted to move into a less than favorable neighborhood in order to free up resources and allow us to be more generous, but would that be letting my family down? How can I support those that count on me and have their own needs and demands, and still follow the spirit that is on my heart. It seems like we don’t have enough as it is. I don’t know.
I want to give of my time, but I rarely have it because I am on call 24/7. When I do have time I don’t know how long it will last or when I will have it again. I want to lead my family everyday but I am away from home so much that even that is difficult. I want to lead a bible study or a small group, visit those who are sick or imprisoned, go on mission trips, teach the saving grace of Jesus. But it all seems so impossible.
The Lord saved my life, literally. He saved and restored me. My family was rescued from the brink because of his intervention. Everything I have is a blessing from him because I have done nothing to earn or deserve any of it, so what now? What is the next step?
I have been praying a lot over the last few months about all of this. The message I get has just been to study and to teach, so that is what I have been doing. I study and try to teach my friends and family. I write this silly blog and try to work through some questions by doing so. I lean into those who know more than I do and try to glean every nugget of wisdom that I can. I read my bible everyday, prayerfully seeking Gods wisdom. I do find fulfillment, and I think others do as well, but I want more.
My lust for the material has been transformed into a lust for the spiritual. I long to do Gods will and his work. I want to understand his being and love and grace more fully. My life has been wrecked, in that all I’ve known and wanted is meaningless compared to what I now desire. I’ve spent a lifetime chasing a false hope and it has left me with nothing. A life of service to Jesus and his purposes is all I can dream about, but where to begin?
Lord, show me your purposes and will. Light my path in a way that is unmistakable. Prepare my heart for the work that you’d have me do. Humble me where I am proud. Destroy my preconceived notions of you. Convict my soul where there is falsehood and sin. Lord, do with me as your will demands and give me the strength and courage to follow you with all that I have.