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Sacrifice: When You Give Up What Seems to Matters Most

For Christmas, one of my children wrapped up a box full of "treasures" for me from their personal stash. When I opened the box, I exclaimed, "I can't believe you've given me your treasures! Thank you."


My precious baby responded by saying, "Oh, it's not stuff I wanted any more, anyway."


OH.


My child's "treasures" hadn't been things that added much value to my life - a pencil, a stuffed animal, a little figurine. The fact that they would sacrifice treasures (when you give up what seems to matter most) is what impressed me. Once they revealed the state of their heart, I might've reasonably felt hurt. Later, we had a little chat about gift-giving and value. Quite an eye-opener for my brilliant little stinker.


When God requires painful sacrifices from us, it can feel so unfair. The good news is, when you give up what seems to matter most, you'll find the most costly sacrifices to be the ones He rewards the greatest. If He asks you to hand back to him your prized possession, He's going to turn around and give you something that makes it look like a box of junk from a child on Christmas morning. (See the story of Abraham sacrificing Isaac.)


Several months ago, I was walking down the hall in my house when I heard God ask me a question that stopped me in my tracks. "Are you willing to give up this house for Me?"


A sick feeling started in the bottom of my belly and spread. I'd just told God, "I'll go anywhere and do anything. Just tell me what You want me to do."


This house had been His gift to me. A place of healing and freedom and restoration. I never wanted to leave, even though we'd originally planned to live here only until my husband's parents were ready to move out of their house on the farm. When we moved in, that day seemed like it could be 10-15 years away. We'd only lived here for two years. Two glorious years of living in town, walking to the park and the pool, nurturing my flower beds, creating beauty all around me that regularly takes my breath away. Two years of space and luxury and neighbors with kids my children's ages! Did God really just ask me to give it up???


"Kimberly, are you willing to give up this house if I ask you to?"


Feeling like the breath had been knocked out of me, mouth dry, heart racing, and with tears in my eyes, I whispered very reluctantly, hoping this was a situation like God asking Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, then providing a lamb at the last-minute: "If you need me to sacrifice this house to bring You glory, I will do it, but this feels very unfair. Why would You give me such a gift and then take it away?"


A Scripture I know well seemed to flow through all the cracked and dry nooks and crannies of my soul like rain: Jesus said, Truly I tell you, there is no one who has given up and left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for My sake and for the Gospel’s who will not receive a hundred times as much now in this time—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life. (Mark 10:29-31 AMPC)


Jesus was speaking to His disciples after they'd agreed to follow Him into itinerant ministry. Peter must have left his house and his wife. Not a divorce, of course, but he adopted a lifestyle of not regularly living at home and not working in his profession as a fisherman. The Bible never says how his wife felt about all that, but I'd like to believe she was supportive.


This Scripture compelled me when I moved to Nashville alone at age 22 to obey God, again when I left Nashville for seminary, and when I left Nashville again to marry my Midwestern farmer. During the time when all I wanted to do was move home and curl up under the covers in my parents' guest room, I followed the Lord's leading and stayed the course. So, it's not like I've never tested this whole thing out before. I know the goodness of God.


However, this ask seemed like too much.


I turned the idea over and over in my mind for weeks, hoping God just wanted to know I would if He asked me. When He didn't withdraw the request, I asked Him for confirmation through some big requests of my own. They seemed impossible, so I felt pretty content I was staying in my house.



Shortly thereafter, both impossible things happened without any fanfare. Just like it was no big deal.


With those miracle prayers answered, my heart began to soften. I still wasn't happy about it, but I know God well enough by now to recognize when He's about to bless me with something totally unexpected. Although all the blessings are yet to unfold, we are currently making plans to put our house on the market. Soon, we plan to move into the house Rick grew up in. It's a pretty traditional farm family arrangement with his parents moving into the cute little house we lived in when we first got married.


One blessing is just that I'm ready for the move. There are things I'll miss about living in town, and I love every inch of my gorgeous house. But, it's just a house, and I can create beauty anywhere I go. At the farm, I won't just have flower beds, but space for a glorious outdoor world - gardens and greenhouses and fruit trees and horses.


If you're wondering, this news has been difficult for the kids because of the freedom they enjoy here to go to friend's houses and have friends in and out of our house so easily. They will miss that the most, but they're also looking forward to being right down the road from their grandparents and the benefits of country living.


If God asks you to give up something precious for Him, He will provide something even greater for you in return. You can rest in that promise. Even though it may feel like your insides are tearing apart, He will rush in to repair the hurt quickly and give you something new to hold onto. You can trust Him. He always keeps His promises.


Have you ever sacrificed something for the Lord like this house? Or is the Lord asking you to sacrifice something now, but it feels too hard? I remember my single days when it was relationships He often asked me to give up. (He's always been right.) I'd love to hear from you, and I'd be honored to pray with you or even coach you through it. Send me a private message or we can even chat about it below in the comments.


Love,

Kimberly



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