My 7 months in Central Asia is slowly coming to an end. When I boarded the plane from HNL, I did not know what to expect. It was what many teenage hooligans call a “yolo” moment. I was leaving my home, my family, and my comfort. I did not shed any tears on the day I left. It probably due to the cage of butterflies unleashed in my stomach. I was so nervous but eager to see what God had in store for me. Words like Kazakhstan, Kygreszstan, and even the word Missions were never in my vocabulary a couple years back. But here I am with a little over a month left, the butterflies now fully transformed into crows (I picked a GOT reference) and the tears being prepared as I ready myself to leave.
Above all of the emotions I stated above, one emotion stands out above the rest.
Its funny how the fear was not present when I was about to embark on this journey with Christ. One would think that heading into an unknown mission field would be the appropriate time to feel fear, not the moment before returning home. But as a reflect on my journey and the stretch that God pulled into my life, I cannot help but fear. I fear my return into my home, my family, my comfort. I fear that the things I have learned here in CA will all be undone by the 12th time I give my testimony about it. I fear that the sacrifice needed to follow Jesus here will be forgotten.
One thing that cannot be duplicated in the comfort of your home is the discomfort that comes with serving Christ in an uncomfortable place. That very essence you feel creates a special bond that makes your soul truly rely on God’s power and wisdom. When following God truly means sacrifice, you uncover something about God that people who embrace comfort cannot understand.
When Ruth left her home decided to follow her husband her mother in law, it took a lot of courage. When she lost her husband and son to death and decided to stay with her mother in law, that took sacrifice.
“Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.17 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.”
She plunged her life into the depths of discomfort and self-sacrifice. Going back home with her sister Orpah would have been the choice most of us would have taken. She could have started a new life, gotten remarried, had more kids, but she chose to stay. She made the hard decisions and in result displayed a showing of love that we still read about today.
Sacrifice is Love. There is no other way around it. Jesus sacrificed everything. Paul gave up his life to follow. John the Baptist doesn’t even know what the word comfort means. All of these noble men knew the price of following God and the love that followed it.
“Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.” Matthew 10:39
That is why I am afraid. I am afraid that the sacrifice that was needed to serve here will be gone when I return home. In a way, I had no choice but to sacrifice important things in my life to come here. But I want that same mindset as I return to the states. No longer do I want to long after the comfort of my flesh. I want to go after the love of Chris. I reach that point, I need to let go of a lot of things, as do we all.
Sacrifice is Love
So say we all,