“But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ” (Philippians 3:7).
WE STAND AMAZED AT WHAT PAUL WAS WILLING TO GIVE UP IN ORDER TO KNOW CHRIST. Valuable though these things were, he was willing to count them “loss” for the more excellent value of knowing Christ. And yet, what Paul did is no more than what ANY of us should be ready to do. If there is some gift that should be given for the Lord’s sake, then we should be willing to give it.
The word “gift” covers a lot of ground, however. There are convenient gifts, and then there are COSTLY gifts. The latter are those in which we part with something that is a part of our very selves and our very hearts. When we give these gifts, we give up a part of precious life. We can hardly see how we can survive the loss.
As I write these words, tears are splattering on the paper on which I am trying to write. An event is taking place tomorrow that will involve the final, irrevocable loss of the most precious temporal treasure that I was ever privileged to enjoy for a while. The loss of this treasure is the ultimate result of a vow that I took a number of years ago that requires me to forgo such joys as this one, for the Lord’s sake. Some would say that if it now requires me to give up this, the greatest joy of my life, I should never have taken the vow.
But are we to give the Lord only that which costs us nothing? To say “If I’d known how much I was going to miss it, I wouldn’t have given it to Him” is to say that truly costly gifts should never be given. Isn’t it better, when the poverty created by a gift begins to hurt us, just to remember the GOAL for which we gave the gift?
Although my life is one of constant sorrow, what I realize is that the sorrow is simply the other side of heaven. I am glad to have a hope that is WORTH the price that I am now having to pay. A life without such a goal would be a life devoid of meaning or joy, and I wouldn’t trade the life I have for such a life as that. On my darkest days of emptiness and longing, I try to bow my head and give thanks for the fullness that will one day be mine. To gain it will be worth the loss of all the loving treasure that my soul so desperately desires right now. It will be worth it. IT WILL BE WORTH IT.
“Everyone should have a goal for which he is willing to exchange a piece of his life” (Carlyle Boehme).
Gary Henry – WordPoints.com