Listen to this devotional:
Exodus 8:25 – And Pharaoh called for Moses and for Aaron, and said, Go ye, sacrifice to your God in the land. (KJV)
Leviticus 7:37-38 – This is the law of the burnt offering, of the meat offering, and of the sin offering, and of the trespass offering, and of the consecrations, and of the sacrifice of the peace offerings: which the Lord commanded Moses in Mount Sinai in the day that he commanded the children of Israel to offer their oblations unto the Lord, in the wilderness of Sinai. (KJV)
From the middle of May until the end of June in 2005, I travelled each Sunday to the mainland to care for our two little granddaughters aged 1 and 3, and returned home to Vancouver Island late on Friday nights.
This journey encompassed a one-and-a-half-hour ferry ride and a further half-hour to our daughter and son-in-law's home.
Most often, my friends greeted me with "Wow, what a sacrifice!" or "I hope they appreciate how you've put your life on hold!" Lots of people said they wouldn't do it. Really?!
What sacrifice? What "life" was I putting on hold? For is not what I was doing part of "life"?
The dictionary defines sacrifice in part as "destruction or surrender of something for the sake of something else; something given up or lost; to suffer loss of, give up, renounce, injure or destroy, especially for an ideal, belief, or end."
To be so blessed as to have children, to have grandchildren, and to have the opportunity to spend a goodly amount of time with them, whether caring for them on a daily basis or just in the time during a visit, is a great and beautiful gift.
Understandably, some people do make tremendous sacrifices for their children and their grandchildren — at least sacrifices in the eyes of others, though perhaps not so in their own. In my case, for sure nothing was surrendered, nothing given up, nothing lost, nothing injured or destroyed. No life was put on hold.
When I think of sacrifice, I think of our heavenly Father giving up or sacrificing His Son for us. I think of Christ, Who could have changed things, Who had the power to change things, yet did not; and Who instead allowed His crucifixion to go ahead to save our souls, that those who believe in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
And so I repeat, "What sacrifice?"
Prayer: Thank You, Father, for Your sacrifice, for Your Son's sacrifice. When we are called to do something that may cause us to change our present plans, may we be ever mindful that in so doing, we are given a gift; we are not being asked to offer a sacrifice. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.