We're heading out to Guatemala because we want to. We're excited about it. We're not trudging off to suffer as global nomads for Jesus. We're just going where He wants us and we want to go. But there are some things we will miss out on. We won't have a country club membership. Honestly, what we'll miss out on is comfort and familiarity. And while it seems really holy to forgo those for the sake of the call, there's a part of me that likes comfort and familiarity. But how important is all that and what am I willing to neglect or ignore in order to maintain a 'comfortable life'?
All this comes I guess from something in Hebrews that's stuck in my thinker:
The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sin offering, but the bodies are burned outside the camp. 12And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood. 13Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore. 14For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.Heb. 13:11-14
We're strangers and aliens here. I said we were driving home, but really, home isn't in Lubbock or Flower Mound or Guatemala. It's in that "enduring city". Here on planet earth we're called to bear the disgrace He bore. That doesn't sound very comfortable. But it's not supposed to be a burden either. 1 John 5:3 says "This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome,". Yeowch.
It's sad, really, that I have to grieve the loss of comfort and stuff. I wish I didn't but I also know that there is something more important. Loving my God. He is better. His way is better. It's not always clear and it's not easy, but it's not a burden either. The burden (yoke) of the Lord Jesus is easy and light. It's freedom. How backwards does that seem? The yoke of freedom. But that's reality. That's life - eternal life - and I want to live it here and now.
Really living life here on earth means suffering in one way or another. And we don't like to suffer, at least I don't. But it's not forever. We're not yet in our "enduring city" but we can live in the freedom of eternity. How incredible is that?