I’m not sure what you think of when you consider the word sacrifice, but it brings to my mind three bikes on one snowy Christmas morning. Stay with me for a minute…
We lived in Mitchell, Nebraska where we pastored a small church, which at times could not afford to pay us. I worked as a cashier at a grocery store in a neighboring town for minimum wage, probably around $4.75 an hour then. We had three children that desperately wanted new bikes for Christmas. How would we ever be able to do this?
I put a fleece out before God, “God you know my children’s desire for a bike and I really want to give them one, so if it is your will to allow them their desires this Christmas let me know.” I then went to the local Walmart and put three beautiful new bikes on lay-a-way. I prayed and said, “If this is good for them, allow me to have the funds to get them out by Christmas.”
Each week I would go and pay toward those bikes, the little I could afford. I’m sure the clerk thought I was really dumb to work so hard to pay so little each week and there would be no way they would be ready to leave lay-a-way by Christmas.
The special day drew closer; the kids were so excited about Christmas almost being there. We had an archway that lead from the bedrooms into the living-room and a small archway that a phone sat on to be reached from either room (prior to cell phones).
Mike and I took great efforts in sealing up those doorways with huge pieces of plastic and we taped a note to the middle that said, “Do not enter, come and wake Mom and Dad up.” Well, much too early little bodies plowed into bed with us to tell us it was Christmas morning. No stalling this crew – we got up and headed up the steps. They tore the covering down and the happy sounds that came from their first view of what sat in a row in our living room still warms my heart to this day.
I’m sure as parent’s you have all been there, experienced the desire and joy when you were able to touch your child’s (children’s) heart in a special way. Well, today as I sit and remember this time, with yes (silly me) tears rolling down my cheeks, I am reminded of another sacrifice that was made for just me.
He didn’t have to do it! He could have said “NO”. He could have called 10,000 angels to come and rescue Him, but He spread His arms and said, “I love you this much!”
His own Father could not look on Him and turned His back for a moment. He hung there all alone on that cruel, hard and cold tree. He was humiliated, beaten, stabbed, spit on and bloody all for me.
This makes my simple sacrifice’s in life seem so small. Don’t get me wrong, we need to be willing to make sacrifices for family and friends and most importantly Jesus. But, we need to take some time each and every day to let the magnitude of what Jesus did for us sink in, be moved to tears of appreciation for His great sacrifice. Not just at Easter, but each day, be moved by the great love Jesus demonstrated for us and continues to, to this day.
Lord, thank You for Your sacrifice. You gave all so that I could have all and have it to the fullest. May we each remember each day that sacrifice that You made for us as individuals and as Your children. Thank You, Lord. Amen.