But sacrifice involves more than just giving something up. It involves death.
That’s pretty final.
We have seen that played out very literally recently, with people all over the world who have had to sacrifice their lives for what they believe. It’s sobering.
But even when our lives are not on the line, making sacrifices is a difficult thing.
We’re ok with sacrificing something we want in the hopes of getting something better down the line. But what about when sacrificing means completely giving up something we want...for good. Letting it die because that is what God asked of us. With seemingly no payback or open window in place of the shut door. Would we be willing then?
We hear stories, and maybe have some of our own, where success has been achieved after making many sacrifices along the way. And the success makes it all worth it.
But what about when the success we gain from the sacrifice isn’t tangible, when nothing seems to change on the outside? What if the sacrifice itself is to simply maintain, day after day, being faithful in the road God is leading us on, even if it feels like a wilderness that is going nowhere for a seemingly indefinite amount of time? Will we trust God even when there are no scary but exciting leaps to take, no acute trials to walk through that give us a shot of adrenaline and grace - when it’s just seeing the same path every day, in the same sand, across the same desert? I will be honest and say that this is where I have found myself recently in some areas of my life, where all I can do is learn to give up on the struggle, lift my hands to God holding my dying hopes, and let Him do whatever needs to be done inside of me.
I believe one of the ways true strength and character are built is when we reach the place where we can learn to completely let go of ourselves, where our earthly desires can be replaced by something so much greater, so much deeper, so much more valuable. Where the exhaustion and discouragement we sometimes feel after struggling and finally surrendering our deepest desires to God are miraculously, but oftentimes quietly, morphed into beautiful things like perseverance... faith... hope... unselfishness... trust........ Love.
If you find yourself in the middle of the Letting Go and are losing strength, I hope I can encourage you that you are not alone, and there is Hope. Cry if you need to, but look up. Keep your faith. Find the joy of being safe in the heart of your Father God, even in the sacrifice. Allow Him to do whatever is His perfect will in your life. God loves you more than you will ever know, and He leads you, and His plans for you are good. They will bring you to an expected and beautiful conclusion that is worth any sacrifice.