Gladys Aylward, a British missionary to China, wrote to her parents:
“Life is pitiful, death so familiar, suffering and pain so common, yet I would not be anywhere else. Do not wish me out of this or in any way seek to get me out, for I will not be got out while this trial is on. These are my people, God has given them to me, and I will live or die for Him and His glory.” *
*I pulled this quote from David Garland’s commentary on Acts in the Teaching the Text Commentary Series.
This quote ricocheted in my brain and echoed in my heart all day. I thought of it as I prepared to teach tonight on the Paul and Silas being beaten with rods, severely flogged, and thrown into prison in Acts 16. I’m sure I will think of it as I finalize a sermon tomorrow on counting the cost of following Jesus from Luke 14.
Following Jesus provides many things. Joy, peace, victory, abundant life, everlasting life to name just a few. Yet, it does not come without sacrifice.
Aylward’s quote speaks of a high sense of calling. Many of us float through life without a sense of purpose. I want more than that. I desire faithfulness to something worthy of sacrifice. I desire a sacrifice worthy of my Savior.