We see posts on other blogs and on Facebook how other women and families go places. We see them living the life that we ourselves have long dreamed of and cherished in our hearts, and we feel a pinch somewhere deep inside, a painful longing.
We may not be able to travel far and wide and go on vacations where our souls long to go due to varied reasons: lingering illness, finances, commitments in work and at home, and most importantly, responsibilities in the vineyard of the Lord. Whatever reasons are hindering us to go where we want to go, we believe deep inside that it is not the will of God for us to leave. And even though we know this to be true and we humbly surrender and re-surrender ourselves to His will, still, we feel that whiff of sadness visiting us every now and then.
And I have come to realize that it’s not really bad to feel sad while we bury our own personal desires and dreams and follow instead what the Lord wants for us. I am beginning to understand that this could be what Apostle Paul meant when he said, “…I die daily.” (1 Cor. 15:31)
When we daily choose to follow God’s will and not our wills, painfully quenching the fire of our own personal desires to embrace His way and what He desires for us, I believe we are really dying. That is, dying to ourselves. Dying to everything we think and believe could bring us fulfillment, happiness and real satisfaction in life. I’m not talking about worldly pleasures. But maybe, dying to ourselves by giving up our careers and work to fully dedicate ourselves in the service of the Lord and/or in the service of our families and others? Maybe dying to self by giving up great opportunities abroad and staying instead to tend the Lord’s flock?
Or maybe just the simple decision not to go out and hang out with friends in cafes and shopping malls but choosing to go to the fasting house to offer up prayers with fasting, or visit the sick in the hospitals and pray for them, or go to the marketplaces and share the Gospel? Or maybe we die to ourselves by going to remote places to reach out souls that are needing salvation, not thinking of our own safety but bravely putting our lives in peril for the sake of the kingdom of God?
I know of many of our beloved brethren in Church who daily do this: endangering their lives just to bring the Gospel of salvation to the unreached. Fording raging rivers and wading cold streams, trekking mountains and forests, walking kilometers after kilometers of fields and rugged roads, in danger of wild animals and rebels, they go because of this great love for the unsaved. And there are many, too, in the poor outstations of the Church in the far provinces of this country, who fast regularly and when it’s time to break, there is no food on the table, and painful fasting continues as their souls weep. (Crying now…). I know this to be true because I have heard testimonies of such enough to break my heart.
If this is not dying daily to self, I don’t know what is.
And when I think about them, I realize how shallow my love is. (More tears…I haven’t cried this profusely while writing). How selfish and vain my desires and dreams are. The Lord is teaching me that to die daily is to really enjoy Him and life, for now ’til eternity. Didn’t He say it Himself?
For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. (Mark 8:35)
He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. (John 12:25)
- The Cost of Following Christ
- Beautiful Feet: What Love Really Means
- Easter is for Prayer, Fasting, and Crusades
- Oh, the Joy!