Tonight my husband and I were asked to share for about 20 minutes at a nearby church. I was invited to sing a worship song, and then we both were supposed to share a testimony on giving up everything for the sake of the Gospel. As I was trying to prepare for the evening, I was struck by an interesting thought that I would like to share with you.
As missionaries, we have definitely given up a lot. We are far away from family, we are without many physical comforts, and we jeopardize our own safety. Giving up those things is difficult, but it's not so extraordinary. When we love God, we desire to give up those things for Him so that He can do his will in our lives. It's as simple as that. The things we give up are totally outweighed by knowing that what we are doing has eternal value and can never be taken away. Now here's where my interesting thought comes into play: maybe it is a lot easier to give up the big things than it is to give up the little things.
What do I mean by that? Well, maybe it is easier to move away from family than it is to give a bad attitude to God. And maybe it's easier to be without a hot shower than it is to stop gossiping. Or maybe it's a little easier to put yourself in danger than it is to surrender a judgemental attitude to the Lord. Yes, I am a missionary, and yes, I have given up a lot...but have I truly surrendered ALL?
Maybe we have given up things for God. That's great. Giving things up for Him helps us to experience a little more of who He is. But whether we have given up a lot or a little, there is always something more to surrender. Maybe God is asking you to surrender some of the big things in your life...maybe family members, a relationship, or even some material posessions. Or maybe God is reminding you, like He is me, that there are "little", hard-to-see things in your life that you have yet to surrender...a critical spirit, a deceitful tongue, or a prideful attitude. It is time to SURRENDER. Let us give God what He is asking us for! And we can be assured that what we will gain in return will be so much more valuable than anything we ever had to give up!