Counting The Cost

Posted on: June 01, 2004 Written by
Counting The Cost
Photography by: princigalli from iStock          

I SAID-

What of my relationships, Lord?
The ties, Father, which have sustained me
and given me joy, are slipping away.
Friendships which once shimmered with
the beauty and durability of solid gold
are crumbling in my grasp as though
they were the dust of fragile cobwebs.
The bonds of family will be stretched and
strained by the painful pressures of
separation by time and distance.
Father, I fear the loneliness and solitude to
which you are calling me.”

HE SAID-

“For you, my child,
I left the eternal fellowship of perfect unity
and stepped into the limitations and
brokenness of humanity. In a time of almost
unbearable grief and pain, I suffered total
rejection so that you might know total acceptance .
To you, my child, I offer:

  • a worldwide circle of saints as your brothers and sisters
  • the comfort and care of spiritual mothers and fathers
  • and I give to you Myself as a friend who is closer than a brother.

Your relationship is secure in being accepted in the Beloved.”

I SAID-

“What of my image, Lord?
In that place to which you send me, Father,
they do no know me.
My little stockpile of reputation will
dwindle to nothing.
They recognize none of my skills, my
deeds, my talents, my achievements, or
my position. Not only do they not know – they do not care!”

HE SAID-

“For you, my child, I counted it as loss
to empty myself of perfect glory and to become of no
reputation. I was despised and rejected of men.
I came even to my own and my own refused to know me.

To you, my child, I offer:

  • the position of considering others better than yourself,
  • the practice of counting all loss for my sake, and
  • the privilege of choosing to share in the fellowship of my sufferings

Your image is secure in knowing you are a member of a royal priesthood, hold
citizenship in a holy nation, and as a child of the King, will one day reign with me.”

I SAID-

“What of my security, Lord?
I shrink, Father, from a life of dependence
on the generosity, good thoughts, and
remembrances of others.
How easily people forget and are caught by:

  • the near
  • the new
  • the novel

The glue of my life is:

  • security
  • certainty
  • regularity
  • order.”

 

HE SAID-

“For you, my child, I came to this earth dependent on:

  • the loan of a stable for my birth
  • the housing accommodation of single sisters and a brother, and
  • the dinner hospitality of despised tax collectors.

Though the foxes have holes, and the birds have nests,
I had no permanent place to 
lay my head. To you, my child, I offer:

  • the security of having beneath you the everlasting arms,
  • the certainty that I will never leave you nor forsake you,
  • the regularity of knowing that I am the God who changes not.

 Your security is made sure in the confidence that no good thing will I
withhold from those who walk uprightly.”

I SAID-

“What of my home, Lord?
These walls, Father, which are filled with
happy memories of family times, hold
me in their grasp. My heart is made joyful
by the rolling hills, and the laughter of bubbling springs
that surround me.
I find comfort in

  • the familiar ways
  • the well-known customs, and
  • the common thought patterns of my kinsmen and fellow countrymen.

After all, Lord, ‘A man’s home is his castle.’”

HE SAID-

“For you my child,
I left my Father’s house of many mansions
so that you might dwell in His
house forever.
I struggled up a hill called Calvary
so that you might ascend
into the hill of the Lord.
I left that City where there flows
a river as clear as crystal so that you
might have your thirst quenched by
the Water of Life.

To you, my child, I offer:

  • In exchange for the familiar ways – ways which are not your ways, but are higher.
  • In exchange for the thought patterns of your fellows – my thoughts, which are not your thoughts, but those of a renewed mind.
  • In exchange for the customs of your countrymen – a way of life that cuts across this world’s culture, and binds together those of every nation, language, tribe, and people.”

 

I SAID-

“What of my success Lord?
Where is my money-back guarantee,
Father, of being failure-proof in this
new venture.

What if they

  • laugh at my message
  • belittle my efforts
  • smear my reputation
  • or worst of all–totally ignore me?

How can I know with certainty that:

  • I will find my place
  • Make my mark
  • Display my gifts, and keep in mint-condition my self-esteem?

 

HE SAID-

“For you, my child,
I left the right hand of the Majesty on high
to veil my glory and become a Suffering Servant.
I was said to be:

  • A worm
  • A failure
  • One who could save others, but could not save Himself.

To you, my child, I offer:
Not the loud applause of fickle men, but the
loving approval of a Faithful Father.
Not temporary success in a wasting world,
but timeless significance in endless eternity.
Position and prestige will pass you by.
Status and station will never be gained.

But, success unsurpassed will be yours on that
day when I say to you, ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant…
enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.”

 

©2004 Thrive


View the original print magazine where this article was first published.

 



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