As I further ponder how to live this life, I consider the lives of great people who have gone before me. John Sung, Hudson Taylor, Paul the Apostle, Adoniram Judson, Charles Spurgeon, D.L. Moody, Amy Carmichael, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Jim Elliot and a great many other people who I may never know. Whether it was a country like China or a people group like the Quechua Indians, every single one of them gave their lives for a cause they were called to, and not a few of them paid for it with their very lives. Many left their families, and suffered physically, emotionally, and were even taunted by those around them. However one thing they all had was a backbone of steel in the pursuit of their calling, and they were all people of character.
Looking at Adoniram Judson’s letter of courting to his first wife’s father tells a fair bit about him. I’m not sure I would have the guts to ask this of the father of a woman I’m interested in.
I have now to ask, whether you can consent to part with your daughter early next spring, to see her no more in this world; whether you can consent to her departure, and her subjection to the hardships and sufferings of missionary life; whether you can consent to her exposure to the dangers of the ocean, to the fatal influence of the southern climate of India; to every kind of want and distress; to degradation, insult, persecution, and perhaps a violent death. Can you consent to all this, for the sake of him who left is heavenly home, and died for her and for you; for the sake of perishing, immortal souls; for the sake of Zion, and the glory of God? Can you consent to all this, in hope of soon meeting your daughter in the world of glory, with the crown of righteous, brightened with the acclamations of praise which shall redound to her Savior from heathens saved, through her means, from eternal woe and despair?
No doubt the world today is a very different place. The most remote places of the earth can now be reached in a maximum of days. Health standards have risen globally, and most of us shield ourselves from harsh climates by staying indoors.
Yet some things have not changed. He who gave his all for me, still expects me to give my all. Not 99%, not 101%, but 100%. How does that work? I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. – Galatians 2:20.
Recently I considered the option of teaching English. It’s not actually a new option, as I had contemplated it before and looked at numerous teaching opportunities. However what threw me off course this time was trying to evaluate the decision by myself. I thought about it for a few days, weighing the pros and cons. I eventually decided not to take it, as I felt it wasn’t the right time to move into teaching English. Teaching English is something that I will be able to do later, but it will be hard to pick up IT again if I put it down. Fair enough.
Along the way, I had a thought. IF God calls me right now to put my IT background and skills on the shelf; if he calls me to go to a remote village to teach the kids English; if it means taking a salary that will never buy me a return ticket to Singapore, am I willing to go? Have I truly laid down all of me? To laying down my IT career of 14 years, I’m willing.
It is one thing to be a martyr; quite another to be a living sacrifice. To lay still on the altar in the face of adversity and persecution when the main thought on my mind is to flee to my comfort zone.
Tonight I place myself on the altar again. Take all of me in exchange of all of you. Anywhere, anytime, I’m willing. One life to live, poured out at your feet.