(10:45 AM London time, Heathrow Airport, Wednesday, January 11, 2012) What a commute to work this is! 10,000 miles, 24 hours, 10 ½ time difference (ahead of USA) – 3 security checks, lines, small seats in crowded airplanes and no contact with those I love and miss. Somehow I, and I think many Americans (I can’t speak for other nationalities) assume that when we obey and serve God He will honor that by giving us a smooth path and easy road. Perhaps it is our American entitlement mentality that feeds that misconception. Certainly it doesn’t come from even a cursory reading of the Bible or a study of church history, nor from reading about the persecution and difficulties believers in other countries face. Indeed, all these clearly show the opposite is true.
After pleading, begging, praying and trying everything I could to make the pain of leaving my wife, family and friends easier, I have come to accept that won’t happen. It really is “not good” for a man to be alone. But after the last trip God quietly spoke to my spirit assuring me that there are some things that those who want to follow Him must face – there is a price to be paid. It is nothing like the price He paid for me, nor like the price many others have paid or are paying now. After all, having such a rich array of loved ones to return to in 3 weeks is something many would call a blessing, not a price to pay!
I suppose the problem is that none of us like pain, me in included. Especially me. Yet is the road of obedience was lines with riches, prosperity, easy and gain who wouldn’t take it? Yet for what reason? Surely it would be a selfish one, at least on my part. And yet isn’t life as a Christian, when we follow in Jesus’ footsteps, full of difficulties for each one? The price we each must pay is different – popularity, ease, denying the flesh and its lusts, physical ailments, strained relationships and many more. The price is different for each one of us, but there is always a price. After all, we are called to follow the One who paid the ultimate price for us. How can we expect to be exempt from any small price He calls us to pay for following Him.
On we must go, one day, one hour, even one minute at a time, knowing He won’t remove the burden but that He promises His grace is sufficient to help us through it. How else would we know and experience His grace if we didn’t need it, if we could somehow get by on our own without it?
What price are you willing to pay for Him? What price has He called you to pay? Are you paying it, or are you looking for a way out, holding back in your obedience or complaining and feeling sorry for yourself because God doesn’t remove it and give you a smooth, easy road? Are you willing to take up your cross to follow the One who carried THE cross for all of us?
(4 PM Hyderabad time, Thursday, January 12, 2012) We arrived here safe and sound from a sometimes boring other times too exciting journey. Anyway we are here. Within the first 5 hours of our arrival we gave out rich to lepers, milk to the poorest of the poor children, graduate certificates to those who completed the tailor training, and a nice visit with the children in the orphanage. I spoke to each group, encouraging a variety of Christians and witnessing to animists, Hindus and Muslims. What a start! Now we’re looking forward to getting to bed tonight – 52 hours after we got out of bed in Doylestown! We got a few hours sleep on the plane, not quality stuff but better than nothing! Thanks for our prayers!!!!
I’LLTRY TO POST PICTURES IN THE PHOTO ALBUM ON THE INDIA SITE SO IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN PICTURES LOOK THERE.