Growing up I never missed having aunts, uncles, or cousins, because both my parents were only children. I never knew what I was missing.
Living the past 25 years outside the U.S. without a Starbucks close by has not been a sacrifice, because Starbucks didn’t even exist when I left, and besides, I almost never drink coffee.
Likewise I never knew of such things as memory foam and sleep number mattresses, so I’ve never missed them. We’ve never had anything larger than a full size bed, so it never feels like a sacrifice to not have a queen or king-size bed.
The things I grew up having, like automatic washing machines and clothes dryers, dishwashers, Kitchen Aid mixers, and all sorts of convenience foods at the grocery store – these I did miss.
Many years ago a pedicurist came on a short-term team, insisting that the delight of her week would be to give me a pedicure. “How lovely on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news….” This was her obsession. Up until then I had never missed such luxuries, having never splurged on a pedicure in my life.
It was ticklish and embarrassing to have someone touch my grungy feet after years of wearing sandals year-round on dusty unpaved roads. I tried every way possible to postpone this “treat” – hoping she would just forget the whole thing. The last night, though, she would not be deterred, and I experienced my first pedicure.
Maybe some of you received your first (free!) pedicure at a Women of the Harvest Retreat, and you know what an amazing feeling it is to have your feet pampered. After that, I was hooked. I don’t actually pay for a pedicure very often, but I find myself wishing I could.
Thanks to the internet (Pinterest), visits to the U.S. every year or so, and talking to new missionaries and short-termers, I now know about many other things I have never experienced, and if I’m not careful I can begin to covet and crave things I have never even seen.
Then came Easter. Sunday morning I gathered with family and friends at sunrise, worshipping and remembering the Resurrection, and out of nowhere I got a blast of longing for something I have never seen except in tiny glimpses.
Do you ever find yourself feeling so homesick for your real home that it brings tears to your eyes? I’ve never seen heaven, but I sure do miss it.
My current must-read book is Heaven, by Randy Alcorn. I recommend it to each of you. It makes me strangely content with my life on earth, knowing there is much more to come. Any small sacrifices I make to serve the Lord now will be worth it in the end.
It’s always good to be reminded that this life is short, and eternity is long.
IRL* Sacrifice does not always feel rewarding, and it’s not always pleasant, but to quote an old favorite song, “It will be worth it all when we see Jesus.”