It has been forever since I’ve posted on here. We’ve been on such a journey over the last four months. We’ve moved geographically, we’ve moved spiritually and we’ve moved emotionally.
From a small town in Oregon, to a suburb in Brisbane, Australia, with eight weeks of travel and visiting family in New Zealand in between. Now we’re settling down.
There’s a lot of talk in faith circles about ‘doing stuff’. There’s a strong emphasis on missions, on living a life outside of your own, on giving, on extending your reach. What is often left out of these conversations is the cost that goes along with this. The price paid.
You see you can’t have sacrifice of any kind, without some kind of pain, Some kind of blood shed. Some kind of reaction.
The cost of following God’s will for your life is real, baby, real.
And it looks different to each and every disciple. Back when Jesus recruited those first disciples to now, when you step out in obedience, that cost is real.
For us the cost at the moment is financial, and to do with fatigue and sometimes feeling overwhelmed. It is hard setting yourselves up in a new country when you’ve got limited time to get to certain government agencies, with three children in tow. When everything is new – new driving routes, some different road rules, names for things are different, and you can count on one hand the number of people you already know. A family spends an amazing amount of time together, when in a new place. Church hunting is a grueling experience. And it just costs a heck of a lot of money when you’re buying all the basics all over again. You don’t ship things like cleaning products or any pantry items when you’re moving overseas.
There’s a cost to stepping out and acting on what you’ve been called to do.
For others I know who are in ministry of some kind, there may not have been such a financial cost, but a cost to their family life. Many trips away. Special milestones and occasions missed, because of itinerary conflicts.
Other people I know have to pay the cost of loss of friendships. God has led them down a different path to their friends. Life choices are suddenly polar ends apart.
There are all kinds of loss, and heartache, pain and suffering that comes along when you’re stepping out in faith, when you’re following certain paths for your life. Especially if you feel like you’re on that path alone.
The Lord who leads me and the Lord who leads you, has ALL things in hand. His promises are yes and amen. They are new every morning.
Don’t we all want to be in the refiner’s fire? And don’t we all want to be transformed to be a little more like Him, all the time? Well the last time I burnt myself it hurt. We can’t expect to be in the refiner’s fire without it hurting, just a tad.
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (ESV). As Christ followers we will have tribulations, the cost of following Him becomes very real at different times for us, in all sorts of ways, but God has already overcome the world.
What I face now – will be a distant memory in four/ six/ twelve months time. God is already there. In my future, as in my present and my past. I’ll one day have a bed, and a bookshelf and more ‘stuff’. I’ll be familiar and confident with driving in this new city. I’ll have more than two friends. God is already there.
Yes, there’s a very real cost to following God – in whatever way that looks for you – and we are to be set apart and look different to ‘the world’ – and this cost should not be glossed over and forgotten about. Likewise, the flipside of walking in His power, walking in obedience, the blessings that come from being His disciples should be shared and rejoiced in.
The cost is necessary, for without the cost, there is no need for co-existing. I need God in my life, in every compartment of my existence, just as much now, as ever before.
Share with me your experience of paying the cost, but seeing new growth and blessing as a result of this cost, I’d love to read of it.