“Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” – Luke 9:23
19 years ago, Rutendo and I bad farewell to our family in Zimbabwe. We thought we would be overseas for one year or so. Yet, here we are, raising a family, building a life, and serving God 10,000 miles away from home. It hurt to say, “Goodbye,” to our relatives. My mother-in-law was ill, none of our immediate family members had gone to live overseas. We were terrified to leave all that is familiar for a land we knew nothing about.
Although we moved from a developing country to a developed country, we missed our family, dearly. We missed our parents. We missed the communal gatherings. We missed the expressive, and often spontaneous, worship. We missed speaking in our mother tongue – Shona. We missed the food – sadza nenyama. We missed the familiar, comforting sounds and unique scents that fill the African air.
The transformation from our old lives to now, felt like a loss, yet we gained so much. The transition cost us the familiar yet gave us great relationships. We had to count our blessings to discover what we “lost” God repaid a hundred-fold. Following Jesus is costly, yet beneficial. There is peace and contentment in following the costly route on which Jesus leads us.
We do not have to necessarily bid farewell to our families to follow Jesus. Yet, following Jesus will cost us something. Our relationship with Jesus challenges us to forgo worldly pleasures, exclusive personal goals, and selfish desires. Disciples of Christ are those who are willing to give it all up to gain ALL Jesus provides. Are you ready to give up the familiar to gain the eternal? Count the cost.