Isaiah 40:31 (New International Version)

31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Counting the Cost

At the risk of sounding selfish, spoiled and arrogant I thought it very important that this post reveal my heart. In 20 days I will be leaving for Uganda, and as you can imagine my emotions are changing minute to minute.  I have been asked more times than I can count if  I'm excited, a seemingly easy question, but one that I am having a difficult time answering.  If truth be told today, I am not excited.  Perhaps I have finally begun to count the cost, perhaps I have begun to see more clearly the things and people that I will miss, perhaps I am a spoiled North American girl who would rather stay comfortable.  I hesitate to say the words that I am not excited to those that ask the question because the inevitable response is one of confusion.  My answer of course is that sometimes God asks us to do things that are not easy or comfortable.  Please do not misconstrued my openness, I am not questioning God's hand here, I have no doubt in my mind or my heart that this is what He wants me to do.  This is what He had planned for both Mackenzie and I.  I know after some reflection and prayer that this stage is an important one.  I am, as mentioned, counting the cost. 

Proverbs 20:25
25 Don’t trap yourself by making a rash promise to God
and only later counting the cost.

I wonder, how often do we make a promise to our Lord and not count the cost, and does this grieve our Father in heaven? 
 
What does it mean to count the cost?  Do we hold onto the absurd idea that being a true follower of Christ is going to be easy, and for that reason rush into making a decision?  In Luke we read the following:

The Cost of Being a Disciple

25Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26"If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple. 27And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
28"Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? 29For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, 30saying, 'This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.'
31"Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. 33In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.

When you read those words, do you make the mistake that I have made time and time again?  Do you simply think it was a different time then, that Jesus meant those words for those people and NOT for me, for us?  These are the words of Jesus, and let me say this.....He meant them for ALL of us, then and NOW!  Joyce Meyer says that true giving should be uncomfortable, it should be a sacrifice.  Giving things that don't mean anything to you anymore is easy. Giving your time when there is nothing else to do, is easy.  The times when you are asked to give something that you still love or give your time when you feel as though you have no more to give, that is true giving.  This looks different for all of us, some of us may be asked to give it all up, some of us will be asked to open our homes to a precious child, some of us will be asked to lead a group, the list could go on and on.  Whatever it is for you, be ready to be uncomfortable, it is then that we are truly blessed.

And so, I feel uncomfortable, and yet I feel God's hands and His blessings as I move forward.  I need to remind myself  that God's ways are not my ways and His thoughts are not my thoughts.  I need to remember that the life I had planned out for myself does not even compare to the one that God had planned for me.  I am ready to take on His journey and make it mine.  I am excited for that.  Counting the cost, yes.  Giving up some comforts, yes.  Willingly following Him into the world knowing that no matter what, He is with us.  Finally knowing that I am on the path towards my destiny, the one that HE chose for me.

Don't be afraid to count the cost and go.  Be more afraid of missing out on the wondrous things He will do in and through you.

1 Corinthians 2:9 (New International Version)
9However, as it is written: "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived
what God has prepared for those who love him"

Blessings friends,

4 comments:

mjohnson said...

Beautiful post... I needed to be reminded to count the cost. Thank you dear sister...praying for your journey and God's plan for your life.

Donna said...

Cheryl, that was simply beautiful!! Thank you for sharing your heart with us and thus sharing a profound message of counting the cost. No matter the place we are at, we need to count the cost and give sacrificially time, finances, whatever it may be.

Know that you and Mackenzie are in our prayers!

3 Blessings said...

WOW! You are so amazing. Thank you for sharing your heart and for living for HIM. Never does he say it will be easy, however, we know without a doubt it will be worth it. Live for HIM just as you are doing. I cannot wait to see the ways He will use you.
Blessings,
Amy

Donna said...

Wow Cheryl! One week from today! Time goes by quickly. I know you have had much to do to get ready. Know that you and Mackenzie are in our prayers!