On A Distant Shore

Want some honesty? Sometimes it’s hard to know that it’s worth it. Sometimes the questions of practical circumstances cause doubt regarding the wisdom of obedience. When I look around and feel insecure about where I am or what I’m doing, my reaction is sometimes to yearn for whatever I think “normal” is in that moment. That’s really me seeking control. Of course, control is an illusion and normal is, too.

With no pride whatsoever, I can honestly say we’ve answered the call over the past several years. When we have felt affirmed in the invitations and direction of God, we have chosen “yes” to His call. That has resulted in selling our stuff, moving cross-country (twice), starting over, doing stuff we have never done before, stretching, hurting, trusting, doubting, rejoicing and waiting. Waiting on the fulfillment of His promises each step of the way. Believing, under it all, that God is for us and with us and faithful.

I’ve blinked more than Julie. We’ve walked in unity as one, but there have been days that I have just wanted to go back to “normal.” Her, not so much. She really doesn’t blink. It’s amazing to see on a day-to-day basis.

Parts of our faith have been put on very obvious display in our situation and choices which have resulted in drastic changes at various times. No matter the level of the changes, a step into relationship with Jesus always has evidence of sacrifice. We sacrifice our appetites, comforts, selfishness or other aspects of the old us as we walk as the new creation. We will always leave something behind when we go somewhere new.

In the middle of my insecurity one day recently, God showed me the necessary perspective to get through the temporary sacrifice. In Matthew 19, his disciples start questioning what they are going to get out of the deal. They want to be sure they have chosen wisely in their choice to throw down their fishing nets and follow Him. Peter tells Jesus in v. 27, “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?”

In the following verses, Jesus points Peter and the others towards an eternal perspective. He promises them no reward in their immediate circumstances, comforts or living conditions. He tells them that their inheritance is eternal and it is then that their choice to give up their place will be rewarded with great promotion.

I believe deeply that we can host Heaven right here on earth, at least to some measure. We are ambassadors of a Kingdom and carry that Kingdom with us. The fullness of Heaven, however, is not the same as these deposits we get glimpses of. It is in the fullness of heaven, in a land on a distant shore, that we fully realize the benefit to the calling.

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