For me, some sacrifices with living abroad, include:
- Precious time with extended family, grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins.
- Spending people’s last days together.
- Caring and supporting each other side by side during difficulties.
- Some opportunities for the kids.
- Long-term relationships.
But, really no matter where we are, we are called to lead sacrificial lives. And I would be foolish to think it would be easier somehow, or less-sacrificial if we moved back to Canada where the rest of our family remains. The Lord would ask me to sacrifice in another way. Not because He is hard, cruel, or unfair. But because He wants my whole heart.
If we are truly seeking after living for Jesus, and laying down our lives for him, then it doesn’t matter where we live. We are going to experience trials and difficulties that may translate as sacrifice.
We have a choice.
Either face it with willingness and joy and thanksgiving, knowing we are serving the King of kings. Or with resentment and self-pity, and not fully experiencing the blessings sacrifice brings.
In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33b
God wants me to have a kingdom perspective. This theme has been replaying over and over again in my heart ever since I moved away from everything familiar two years ago. One of my friends back home contributed a short article to a blog recently. And she basically wrote about how her mom told her that she could do anything for a period of time. That period of time may differ according to the task, but the truth is, everything that we face on earth is temporal and has an end: I was blessed by her message.
Receiving news about something alarming, scary, or uncertain, is difficult. And never easy. On one hand, I don’t believe the Bible calls us to minimize the effect these things can have on our emotions. Grief and sadness and fear are a reality of what we face on earth. Jesus knows our emotions.
But on the other hand, allowing our circumstances to cripple our service is wrong.
“Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thess. 5: 16-18
Resting in the fact that everything is seasonal, everything is temporal, gives me hope to face tomorrow. It gives me the motivation I need to stop valuing everything on this earth in my life as all there is. I am a small part of a much bigger picture. Let the blessings flow.