Challenge 25: Suffer for Another

I. just. couldn’t. believe. my. weekend, which started Thursday. I got the flu and I don’t remember the last time I got the flu or got sick for that matter but I can just about figure what happened. My lack of rest and raw foods over the past two weeks with an intense ministry schedule caused my downfall. Though this flu wasn’t the worst I have had, my body aches and fever were enough to cause me to have to sacrifice much: tickets to the Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour Thursday; Good Friday Service; a movie date Saturday; and Resurrection Service. I can’t remember the last time I missed church on Easter! Yes, I was bummed that I missed a bunch of what I wanted to do, but I had to sacrifice so that I could receive new life in my body. And guess what, as of Sunday evening my fever and body aches had subsided and I was experiencing new life.

Few people look forward to sacrifice so they might have new life: a new attitude; a new job; a new house; a new mission, but sacrifice is necessary. Most of us want instantaneous change and are more than happy to walk in newness simply handed to us. We know most of life doesn’t work that way, though the greatest life we have did work that way: Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, lived a sinless life but was beaten, spit upon, lied on, mocked, denied and crucified (a criminal’s death) for sinful lives that should have received the punishment. Instead, we received the free gift of new life—eternal life—that Jesus paid with His life for us to have. He did all the hard work, the suffering, the shedding of His blood. All He asks is that we love Him with all our soul, mind and strength and love our neighbors as ourselves (Matthew 22:37-40). We may struggle with sacrificing for our own benefit, so sacrificing for the benefit of others may not be a constant on our minds. But if Jesus sacrificed for us and commands we do so for others surely we should be overjoyed to do what He commands however the sacrifice, the suffering, comes to us. Let’s embrace it for the love of Christ.

Take a Risk Challenge: So, in honor of Jesus, and to fulfill our perpetual call of sacrifice to serve others, I’m challenging you this week to not do something that you love—something that you just feel you would suffer if you couldn’t do it—so that someone else might somehow be revived. Look at this similar post for ideas. Sacrificing by suffering on behalf of another ALWAYS is a radical act of love.

My One Thousand Gifts List

Flynn playing basketball with the boys
Flynn surprising me by getting a sitter so I could attend Byron’s lecture without having to take the boys
A call to babysit a precious boy
Talking to my sister without feeling rushed
Byron’s lecture being inspiring and indicting
Tension talking to the mom of the boy I babysat about having to spank him
Family prayer and praise
Day 2 of success of being a vegetarian
An ever present awareness to worship God
Rising at 6 am to spend time with God and work on my EACH articles for almost three hours before anyone else got up