I’m married-single-parenting again. It’s all good. That means we might have income for this week, so I’m happy about that. But it also means I’m home-alone-on-the-range again.
I’m not sure why it’s taken me this long in life to realize that give and take happens in every part of life. Relationships, business, marriage, friendships between toddlers, blessing, forgiving, and parenting. And even with this married-single-mom stuff. I give up my husband to the corporate world and it gives us back a pay check. (At least that’s how it’s supposed to work!)
I know that if I give up enough snacks, second helpings and cream in my coffee I’ll get back a nice reward on the scale and in my wardrobe. If I give up a few Starbucks and Tim Hortons coffees, I’ll have a bit more cash to put toward a new bike I’ve been eyeing.
Give up. Get back. Give up. Get back.
There doesn’t seem to be much in life that doesn’t work that way. “Have your cake and eat it, too” is a saying that I haven’t seen work as often as I’ve heard it used. I think that’s wishful thinking!
I’m finding the same thing in my relationship with Jesus. I give up my rights, He gives me new life. I give up dwelling on how horrible my situation is, He gives me hope for the future. I give up my energy-sucking habits (like complaining, holding grudges and remembering everyone else’s failures) and He gives me freedom like I’ve never known before.
I give up. He gives back. I give up. He gives back.
There are parts of the system I haven’t quite got down pat yet. (Giving up snacks, cream in my coffee and a Starbucks now and then have not made it to the top of my ‘give it up’ pile quite yet!) I’ve found, though, that as I go through this life my mind turns more and more often to dwell on this incredible phenomenon.
I’ve had a glimpse, a taste, of the freedom I can have in Jesus Christ. It was the sweetest taste ever! I long for more and more of it. So much so that I lay in bed just a few nights ago and whispered to my husband, “Sometimes this incredible feeling of a glorious eternity fills my soul and I wonder, I think to myself, ‘What else can I give up? What more can I surrender to inherit the completeness of this freedom I’m living in?’ In light of what I’m learning about this incredible God what do I have in my possession that is worth keeping back… I want to give it all.”
What about you? What have you given up in order to receive something more valuable in return? What do you give up regularly in hopes of something bigger and better down the road? How have you seen the principle of “give up, get back” work in your life?
I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. Philippians 3:7-9a (NLT)