Sacrifice

On my J127 trip, I visited a Compassion International booth at a mom’s conference we went to. There were so many beautiful pictures of little faces. I had considered sponsoring a child before, and I finally felt like the time was right.

Why? Because I knew how much money I was making every month. It wasn’t much, but I would share the cost with my sister who also had a reliable monthly income, and it would only be $19 per month for each of us ($38 total). It was brilliant. The only thing now was to choose which child to sponsor.

I had no clue how one does this, so I just looked and looked. And that night, I prayed. One particular girl’s picture kept coming to mind, so I figured I would go with her. Her name was Ruth, she was four, and she had a blue shawl thing wrapped around her and pinned with an enormous safety pin.

So I went home with this nice little packet.

And I found out that I no longer had a reliable monthly income. (Welcome to family business…)

In spite of the fact that I had just trusted God to provide $3,000 (and watched Him come through gloriously), I still sometimes doubted that He could provide that little bit needed monthly. I would get all stressed out--it’s the day before, and no money. And, of course, money would come.

And I laugh to myself, because isn’t that just how God is?

He wants us to learn to rely on Him. Not on money, not on ourselves, not on anything of this world. Just Him.

Here I was, thinking I’m this rich white lady going to help this poor struggling family–and then I come to find out that I, myself, am poor and helpless. I can’t even guarantee that I will have $38 in the bank on time.

I need Him just as badly as they do.

I thought I was going to be doing this thing in my own strength. I didn’t think it would require much sacrifice. And it hasn’t, not really. Not compared with what HE did. Still, though, it required much more than I anticipated. And I’m so glad.

It’s not the money we need so much as it is the faith in God. Here they are trusting God to provide through me–and here I am, having to trust God to provide for them through me. And He is.

I got a rather large sum of money recently (for me…), and I divided it all up into nice little sections and promptly spent it all. Books, savings (Well that wasn’t spent, but anyways.), clothes for me, the money for Ruth, decorations for the store, and so forth. But there was still some extra, in the bank.

I got an email from Voice of the Martyrs. People wanted–needed–Bibles. $30 could buy and send 5 Bibles, they said. They knew the names of these folks who wanted Bibles. And I was ready to just move on…. but then I thought, hey, how much money do I have anyways? So I checked. I had $68.58. Guess what that meant? I had exactly enough (well, I had .58 to spare) to send 5 Bibles and sponsor Ruth that month.

Well.

So I did it. And I got this nice little paper in the mail–with five names. I can’t even pronounce them. But they are real people, who really have a Bible now. Because… I made a sacrifice.

Such a slight one.

It’s almost unbearable, how slight it was. Some of these people might die. Because of that book. And all I did was take out my card, punch in the numbers, and decrease my bank account by a mere $30.

It’s a start. It’s the beginning of something I want to be marked out by. But I don’t want to be alone. This is something we all are called to, dear brothers and sisters.

A life of sacrifice.

Think of the One we follow. Who has sacrificed more than this Jesus Christ? He gave up heaven. He gave up His life. He gave up His reputation. Everything.

But guess what?

He also gained everything. We’ve got to remember that.

It isn’t just sacrifice, sacrifice, sacrifice, forever and ever amen.

It’s sacrifice everything down here, to gain everything up there.

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