Tag Archives: sacrifice

My God, My God – A Thought by Frederick Buechner

“My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” As Christ speaks those words, he too is in the wilderness. He speaks them when all is lost. He speaks them when there is nothing even he can hear except for the croak of his own voice and when as far as even he can see there is no God to hear him. And in a way his words are a love song, the greatest love song of them all. In a way his words are the words we all of us must speak before we know what it means to love God as we are commanded to love him.

“My God, my God.” Though God is not there for him to see or hear, he calls on him still because he can do no other. Not even the cross, not even death, not even life, can destroy his love for God. Not even God can destroy his love for God because the love he loves God with is God’s love empowering him to love in return with all his heart even when his heart is all but broken.

Frederick Buechner

Seeking Treasure

Pearl of Great Price

“Come to the treasure, you who search and you will search no more.” This line from Tenth Avenue North’s song “Love is Here” brims with meaning.

One parable from the Bible that didn’t make much sense to me as a child was the following:

“The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it” (Matthew 13:45-46).

Maybe it’s because I was never into things like shopping and jewelry. Selling everything you own … For a piece of jewelry? For nothing but a pearl? Who on earth would do that?

Only someone who recognized its true value.

Few would see such worth in a pearl. Just as few see such worth in the Kingdom of God.

Who would risk everything they have for that? For something intangible. Vague and hazy as a morning mist.

But when the true Dayspring rises, a Dawn that spreads across the sky illuminating all that has been in shadow for so long, all the kingdoms of the world will dissipate like that morning mist. And all that endures the Sun of the Morning will be deeds done in the Name of this one enduring Kingdom.

Acts of Love.

Sacrifice.

Giving.

And yes, even selling all you have for that one pearl of great price. Or giving it away.

Reckless? Perhaps. As reckless as the decision of the Son of God and God Himself to take on a body that can bleed and bruise, to die for the sake of those he loves.

You and me.

What is such an unrequitable gift worth? How could one even begin to repay such an eternal deed? Perhaps by counting all other things as loss, worthless, and fleeting compared to that one priceless pearl.

Perhaps by seeking that sole treasure … and finding that in its presence, all others fade. No more need to search. For you have found that which you have been seeking all your life.

Not A One-Time Event

PearlThe concepts of service and sacrifice have been a part of my life since I was young. When I moved away from home at 14, I got my first taste of both. At first, though, there wasn’t really much of either service to God or sacrifice. It was more an experience … fun and exciting and new. Learning about God and others and myself. Growing up a little more. Making friends.

When I felt the “call to India” at 15, the concept grew a little more clear, and more poignant. When I was 16 and actually moved to India, and my best friend died half a world away, in my mind I tangibly felt God pull the rug of companionship and kin out from under me. I knew it was for a reason but that didn’t make it easier.

When I was 18, I visited my family for a short time before returning to India, and upon arriving back in India, I suffered from depression for months … and never told anyone how I was feeling. I never felt so alone.

Year after year, experience stacked upon experience. I had my Mount Moriah moments, where I felt too much had been asked of me … yet I received back in return more than I could hope. I also had my Garden of Gethsemane moments, where I asked for the cup to pass untouched.

But not a single sorrow or heartbreak or sacrifice would I trade now, for all that has been given to me in return.

I’m 31, and have a wonderful and loving husband, talented and beautiful children, work that I love, goals I am chasing after with a passion, a home, friends and family nearby. God has blessed me beyond measure.

So that’s a little bit about me and a touch of my experience with both service and sacrifice. That’s why, when I heard the song by Sidewalk Prophets, “You Can Have Me,” it struck a chord deep inside.

If I saw You on the street
And You said come and follow me
But I had to give up everything
All I once held dear and all of my dreams

Would I love You enough to let go
Or would my love run dry
When You asked for my life?

Telling the Father of Love, “You can have me” is not meant to be a one-time event. I ask myself, what would my response be if He once again asked me to give up everything? For some reason, I don’t think in those terms much anymore … I gave. He gave back to me. End of story.

But is it?

Or is that perspective the very thing that so often makes our love for God unmoving? Unconsuming?

May the prayer of my heart be, as the song goes …

I will love You enough to let go
Lord, I give you my life
I want to be where You are
I’m running into Your arms
And I will never look back
So Jesus, here is my heart

You Can Have Me

Some songs I hear seem to merge into my being, and it becomes a theme of sorts during that stage in my life.

Other songs, rather than fitting into a stage of my life, seem to expand and actually be part of the overall theme of my life.

That’s the case with this song. My husband bought me a Sidewalk Prophets CD when we saw them perform at the Rock ‘N’ Worship Roadshow in 2012. We would listen to the CD in the car, and I never listened closely to the words of this song until one day I heard the phrase while I was driving:

When did love become unmoving?

When did love become unconsuming?

For some reason it struck a chord in me. Love isn’t meant to be either of those … but so often it is. So I listened closer and the words of the whole song are amazing. On Thursday, I’ll try to write more about why the lyrics of the whole song seems to flow along with certain recurring themes of my life.

Listen to the song. Think of how it pieces together with your experiences of love, life, faith, and the Father.