Lately the word ‘sacrifice’ has persistently floated through my conscience. Personally I feel these thoughts have surfaced more intensely lately because of Good Friday and ANZAC Day – both great models of showing sacrifice for the sake of the bigger picture.
Last Friday I celebrated the day of Jesus’ sacrifice within my amazing Church family…. Today I walked with Tayla along the Strand while watching the ANZAC march/ ceremony - both with an enormous amount of graditude. Both ceremonies were a conscious reminder of the amazing gift of freedom that was provided after the pain and glory of sacrifice. Although some days it feels like the world is so broken and fallen, it’s refreshing once in a while to simply be reminded.
Can one even begin to fathom the mix of emotion that goes through these minds while the wheels of sacrifice are in process? When death is a possibility, the feeling of fear, doubt and intense mental distraction must obviously happen to a degree. Imagine simply walking in without actually experiencing the full pressure of the sacrifice but still have the mental strength to walk it…. It should never be taken lightly. It’s those who keep reminding themselves of the bigger picture that find it possible to make the sacrifice. Sure they still feel the fear and doubt, but knowledge of how the sacrifice fits into the puzzle is still a great incentive.
Sacrifice happens all around – you don’t necessarily have to be a soldier to experience the pain and pleasure of it, nor does it always have to end in destruction. Think about it:
· To create a family, two individuals have to make a sacrifice of their old life to love each other and then ultimately sacrifice some ‘honeymoon’ aspects of their relationship to have children. But the sacrifice is worth it when they create meaningful memories together and watch the children they create impact the world.
· To buy a house, an individual has to sacrifice luxuries to meet the expenses of a deposit and repayments. But the sacrifice is worth it when they can directly see and live in the fruits of it.
· To stay fit and healthy, an individual has to sacrifice time to stay fit, and elements of their old life. But the overall feeling of being healthy and visual results, are worth the sacrifice.
There are times as well where sacrifice feels like a double edged sword: You make the sacrifice for the bigger picture… which just never seems to feel like it is coming. Sometimes the journey is filled with more pain than pleasure…. And even times you actually never get to physically see the fruit of it. But that’s the reality of it – not every person gets to taste the fruits of their sacrifice…. Rather others get a glorious taste of it later on. Imagine the state of the world without persistence and sacrifice…. Imagine the incredible blessings in our lives we would miss out on if they didn’t come to pass?
I really want to encourage you today that if you feel tired, deflated or as though the journey feels painful…. Look to the potential fruits of your sacrifice. Be encouraged that although you might not physically see it in the present, know that it’s probably changing yourself and others internally…. Or even providing foundations for the next season! Dig deep and find graditude in the situation and give thanks that YOU were chosen for it because YOU are right for it! Use the tough times as lessons and foundations for the future and continually remind yourself of your values and course that you stand for. See the beauty in the entire experience and keep dancing through it no matter how much your feet hurt!