Short Term Sacrifice, Long Term Gain
If you have followed our story for any length of time, you may remember that this time last year, we were in one of the hardest struggles of our lives. We were purchasing our home in Walnut Cove, while simultaneously selling our home in Winston Salem, and to say it wasn't easy would be an understatement. From having to push our signing date back 3 times, to getting a call the morning before we were due to sign to be told that our buyer was backing out, it was a hardship I hope to never endure again. Yet, in all of that hardship, there was a lot of faith to be gained.
During the entire process I was also studying Abraham, and envisioning what he endured brought me such hope, comfort, and peace. Abraham was asked to sacrifice everything to God, including the son that he had prayed for nearly all his life. That had always been one of my least favorite stories in the Bible, I couldn't understand how God could ask Abraham to sacrifice his son; or how Abraham could be willing to sacrifice him. But as I was being asked by God to sacrifice so much comfort in my own life, I started to make sense of why God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac.
I understood the metaphor hidden in this tale; Abraham had to be willing to sacrifice everything to gain God's favor, and it was that willingness that halted God's hand when He commanded the ram to be sacrificed instead. There was a moment in our move last year where we were asked to sacrifice everything; to lay it all on the table. We had all of our possessions in a moving truck when we found out that the buyer was possibly going to back out of the sale. Our realtor asked the seller of our current home if we could take possession of the house without being legal owners, and we all prayed that the sale of our house in Winston would go through.
By the absolute grace of God, they allowed us to move in AND the sale of our house in Winston closed 2 weeks later. For 2 weeks I survived on the prayer that we would not have to repack everything from a home that we had fallen in love with and move back to our house in Winston. I felt like Abraham y'all. God wasn't asking for my child, but He was asking that I have absolute faith in Him, and for the first time in my life I did. I trusted with everything inside me that He would see me through, and that no matter the outcome, that His plan was bigger than mine. See, even if God had followed through with the sacrifice of Isaac, no one would have lost. Isaac would have stood beside Him in heaven and Abraham would have still won the favor of God through his faithfulness.
It was worth all of it. The stress, the fear, the tears; every bit was worth it, because I love our home. Everyday I praise God for seeing us through, because I wanted to quit so many times. I wanted to throw in the towel when it got hard and I thought "there is no way it is going to happen", but it did happen, because we were willing to sacrifice our comfort, and stability, and life for a short period of time.
We find ourselves in a similar, and yet all together different situation this year, but the lesson is parallel. Sharif has taken a job that will require him to be gone in another city 5 days a week for somewhere between 3 and 6 months. This is a sacrifice for our family. We have never been apart like this in all our marriage, and the children have always had him home in the evening. However, the long term gain will make it well worth it. Knowing this, and having the past experience of God's favor upon us in our willingness to sacrifice makes it a much easier burden to bear.
So if ever you are asked to bear the burden of sacrifice for a short time, let this be a testament to the long term gain that could be had from it. I love the saying "if God leads you to it, He will lead you through it", because in my experience, it is true.