The Choice to Sacrifice
“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13 (ESV)
I drove under the beautiful gate of Fort Benning Army base one night. As I drove under the bridge I got chills through my body. All at once I felt a deep feeling of gratitude and appreciation for our military. I was so thankful for the sacrifice that each family makes on a daily basis. Each family makes these choices daily by their commitment to be married to a soldier, living in transient, raising their children in the absence of their spouse, putting their own lives in danger. Each family faces a reality of risk on a level that most people never face. These were all thoughts that came flooding over me as I drove to my friend’s house.
As I continued to the gate, an officer took my ID and said, “Welcome home”. Welcome home, wow! What a sense of community and what a sense of belonging, I sensed all of this even though I was not in the military. We left for dinner and then came back onto Post that evening and an officer took our ID and said “take it easy” and welcome home”.
What would our life be like if we choose to “take it easy” and to say to others “welcome home”? I’m in no way suggesting the being a Christian is easy, but I am saying that having a relationship that you can lean on to get you through every trial and struggle is much easier than doing it by your own strength. Jesus tells us that His yoke is lighter than ours and we can trade ours for his. As a Christian, you are part of a community of believers that should be there to welcome you home when you get off base and to tell you to take it easy when you need to rest. The military gets this, but I am not so sure all Christians do. The Military gets the cost of sacrifice, but do we? What are we willing to give up on a daily basis? Sometimes we aren’t even willing to give up time waiting in a drive-thru, much less sacrificing any desires for a righteous cause. Sacrifice is something we have to understand and be willing to do. It’s what Jesus did so that we might live. Our eternity rests on our understanding of whom Jesus is and the sacrifice that he gave for us. Why would God ask us to sacrifice if Jesus already did? God wants everything that is hindering our relationship with Him removed. If giving up something is a sacrifice for us, then we can lean on God to get us through. Giving something up is only a sacrifice if it costs us something. Sacrifice cost God everything, including His only Son. Why do we feel so unjustly treated when are asked to sacrifice? Why do we value things and people above our relationship with God?
When God asks us to sacrifice, it is always for our gain; sometimes it’s in a realm that we just can’t see. When we begin to see God in the sacrifice, we begin to “take it easy” and rest in Him and then He says back to us, “Welcome Home”!