Grace in Sacrifice
If there is one thing that is hard in the Christian life, it is the surrender. Giving Christ the control over each and every aspect of my body and life is my greatest joy and my greatest battle.
When I gave my life to Jesus as a young woman, I had already tried to do things my own way. I’d made my own plans and tried to do things according to how I thought that they should be done. The results where hollow. And my life, my heart and even my passions were all left wanting.
As a single woman, the Lord started to show me in His gentle and loving way, how I might live my life for Him and to bring glory and honor to Him. As my failings, selfish desires, passions and sins surfaced as a single person, I was able to learn that I simply didn’t have the tools on my own to satisfy these desires and longings. But God’s Grace. Oh, His Grace washed over me and became my teacher, my peace and my joy.
And now, as a wife and mother of four, when I call out to the Lord and read scripture and fill my heart and my thoughts with His thoughts, my heart is fills with peace – sometimes right away and sometimes over time, like a fine wine.
Even now, 13 years after throwing my life into the hands of Jesus I long for temporal satisfaction! (Still Lord?!) I am ALWAYS amazed by God’s ability to change my heart and even my thoughts and desires when I pray, lift up my request to Him and search out what the Bible says.
But here is the trouble with surrender; it often leads me into places that I never dreamed I’d go. I’m on a wild ride with my Savior. For example, we prayed for years for the vocation for my husband and now, we have a business that creates a lifestyle that allows us to be together throughout the week! I never dreamed that part of my role as wife and mother would be to support my husband by going to the gym to workout! (Because we own a gym!)
Another area where we’ve been shocked and amazed at how the Lord has led us is the education of our children. My husband started looking at different schools and different educational philosophies when our oldest was a newborn! He came home one day after reading dozens (and I do mean dozens) of books on the topic and asked if I’d do some research about homeschooling. Through much prayer and research my thinking went from “I would NEVER do that!” to “Lord, I’m so grateful that I get to do this!”
What is hard is the social and cultural pressures that any choice be it vocation or education place on me and even our family. When I feel doubt and start to become discontent in where God has me, I can always go back to the Bible and pray (listening and seeking) and I know God has done these things in my life because left to my own will, I certainly wouldn’t have chosen them!
It’s not that everyone who prays to seek the Lord’s will own a gym and home school their kids! But it’s the praying and asking for guidance from the Lord and allowing Him to guide you! It’s human nature that we look left and right at what everyone around us are doing and think that perhaps that is what we should do too. But, when we look up to God for help, He gives it freely and the fullness of life kicks into high gear.
“With eyes wide open to the mercies of God, I beg you, my brothers, as an act of intelligent worship, to give him your bodies, as a living sacrifice, consecrated to him and acceptable by him. Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould, but let God re-mould your minds from within, so that you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good, meets all his demands and moves towards the goal of true maturity.” Romans 12:1-2 (Phillips)
-Written by Joy Cherrick
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