I was cold, peddling up hill with the wind in my face when it started to rain. My first thought was, “This is hard!”
I was training to cycle across Canada, a trip that would take two months if we maintained a pace of about 170 kilometers per day. I was joining three others on this ride as a 60th birthday celebration, but it was not just a celebration. The ride was dedicated to raising funds for water wells in Africa and raising awareness about the need for clean water. That morning the reality of the challenge ahead began to hit me. My second thought was, “This will be hard, but it would be a lot harder to watch my children die because they did not have clean drinking water.” That line replayed in my mind on many days on the ride when I wanted to quit short of our goal. But we did reach our goal!
I join the ranks of millions that defer personal security for the greater good — those that allow conviction to trump comfort. The ultimate this-is-hard moment took place in a garden at night. Jesus was alone; His friends were too tired to stay awake with Him. His father had asked Him to make a sacrifice that had the potential to benefit every person. The sacrifice was humiliation and a painful death. His response was one of reality and humility. It was not a choice based on feelings but on deep conviction and love for the father and the world.
“He went a little farther on, threw himself face downward on the ground, and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, take this cup of suffering from me! Yet not what I want, but what you want.’” (Matthew 26:39, GNT)
God’s purpose was and always has been to communicate His love and salvation to a lost and dying people. His purpose has not changed nor has His strategy. He is asking his children to do hard things, to make difficult choices, to sacrifice so that the world will know the love of the Father!
What is God asking you to do?
Father, thank you for sending Jesus and so clearly making your love and forgiveness known to me. May your will be done in my life. Help me live a life of love and obedience to you. Help me to live beyond simple comforts and not to be governed by feelings. Amen.
Go deeper — Begin each day with a simple prayer, “Father, your will be done today.” Consider becoming an online mentor to offer the hope of Christ internationally from the comfort of your home or office.
Photo Credit: Elaine Casap