In many ways I'm still processing, struggling, grasping and searching for the desire to be here in Bolivia. I know it's a choice that must be made but while making the choice to continue on here I'm still seeking desire.
I recently asked my husband, "Why me? Why do I have to be the one to give everything up? My country, my culture, my language, my family, my friends and my lifestyle? Why?" That question is at the heart of my soul right now and God is faithfully giving me glimpses into His truth.
In my Bible study this week I read through the book of Philippians and was caught on chapter 3, verses 8 through 11. Here it is in the New International Version:
What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ--the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ--yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.To give you some context, Paul is talking about his "rights" as a Hebrew, born of the tribe of Benjamin and a Pharisee. In the eyes of the Jews he was the epitome of one with "rights." But Paul, with a great understanding of his salvation through faith, was giving up his "rights" according to men and taking confidence in his position through Christ.
Most of all, Paul's words "for whose sake I have lost all things," really struck me. Paul gave up his position. He gave up everything in the eyes of the Jews. To them Paul threw away his life. He was foolish. But Paul knew the truth. He knew that he was gaining so much more. He was gaining salvation and life in Christ. He was gaining Christ and choosing to "be found in him." Paul was growing closer to Christ, knowing him more and desiring to know even more: "to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead."
Ultimately, Jesus Christ gave up more than any of us can imagine. The choice to come to this sinful place was a choice to give up everything and the ultimate sacrifice came the day he was nailed to a cross. He literally gave it all.
Here I am. In the world's eyes I am foolish. I have chosen to move away from home to share something that many in the world see as nothing more than a good story (or a bad one!). In my struggles I find that my desires are rooted in the things of this world: a life of comfort and ease (in my own language and culture) and surrounded by family and friends (many who already know Christ personally or who have great access to truth). But there is so much more within my grasp.
Who am I to question why I should give up, in reality, so little? I am so blessed and God continues to reassure me with His word that what we are doing here is worth so much. And so I am doing my best to listen, to grow and to rest in this promise:
And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. --Matthew 19:29Some day I will have eternity to spend with my family and friends. Some day I will live at home, the place my heart truly yearns for. Some day culture and language will not affect my daily choices.
Some day. . .what a glorious day that will be!