So, it’s been awhile. Forgive me – real life happens between blogs…for all of us!
Life for me has been full of many small and large adjustments as of late. All of these adjustments have caused me to give up time, energy, finances and even some semblance of what I consider normalcy. It hasn’t been easy. It has left me depleted in some ways, stronger in others.
As I was lamenting my losses, licking my wounds and trying to give all to Jesus during a busy work day (yes, right now as I write in the middle of my work day ), I heard something Minister Sarah Jakes Roberts said in a recent message. It came from an unexpected place. As she took the stage, she honored her father, Bishop TD Jakes, an awesome man of God. She also acknowledged her mother, Serita Jakes. The way she honored her though (and I will post/embed the link below), has humbled me, challenged me to think beyond myself. Sarah spoke very simple words. She simply thanked her mother for her sacrifice. Nothing grandiose. Nothing too, too weird. Just a simple thank you. That simple thank you for her sacrifice from her daughter, the recognition, was exactly what I needed.
Sacrifice ain’t an easy calling, yet to this we are called (1 Peter 2:21). Let’s take a look at what sacrifice is. According to Merriam-Webster.com, sacrifice is destruction or surrender of something for the sake of something else, something given up or lost, loss. In this new season, I am called to sacrifice things that have traditionally given me great pleasure, worth, and meaning to an extent. This sacrifice requires not only my comfort zone, but it is also activities I enjoy greatly. After Sarah Jakes Roberts spoke, I could ‘see’ what the wife of a minister may have had to sacrifice. She had to sacrifice some of her own personal aspirations and goals to make way for the greater good: time with her husband, sometimes having to absentee parent, being the backbone of the home. She may not have always been able to go and pursue the things she wanted because the cost was much too great to the end goal.
This is the position into which I have been called at this time, with a child who is in need of my sacrifice. It has been a difficult pill for me to swallow because my idea of a full life had nothing to do with slowing down in this capacity. I assumed having Six would not deter the goals and dreams in my heart. I struggled with not being angry, depressed, lonely or feeling isolated. This is a position that many people find themselves in. It is a struggle, this sacrifice. Even in writing this, I wonder what Jesus felt knowing that HE was the sacrifice, that He was born to be SACRIFICED! Hebrews 12 says that he endured for the joy of the cross. This verse used to perplex me until I found out that the joy was simply the outcome – restored relationship with us. The joy was also in experiencing the bonding with the apostles, the people He encountered, the lives He touched. I try to remind myself that while I am not Jesus, my story was written with sacrifice as a central piece. Sacrifice is more than just dying to self daily. It is a lifestyle of choosing to put someone else above ourselves, even if we don’t get the glory.
There is one rather special concept to grasp about sacrifice though. The chosen sacrifice is NOT random. You couldn’t just sacrifice any old thing to satisfy the requirement. The sacrifice system (read Deuteronomy, Leviticus, and Numbers for a gist of this system) required THE BEST. Best in physical appearance and form, as well as use and intent. It also had to be from the first fruits, meaning the first of your harvest (whatever it may be). No sloppy seconds. In order for us to give our best sacrifice, or to be chosen to sacrifice anything, this means the Lord thinks we have a best to offer to begin with. He never takes our best without giving us something better. And He isn’t greedy. He doesn’t want it ALL (although if you give all, He will give you more, so you can never give all). He just wants the best so He can give us the best.
I have to run to a meeting.
I will be back a little more frequently, or will at least try.
For now, enjoy the message. It’s a really, really good one!