“Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” A few months ago, I was discussing dating with a friend of mine. I was telling him I only date Christians, of which there are few where I’m currently serving. So he asked me how I was going to get married. It’s not the first time I’ve been asked that. It probably won’t be the last. And my answer is: I probably won’t get married as long as I live here. It’s not impossible; it just isn’t likely. It’s something I have to forego as long as I live overseas.
It’s not the only sacrifice that has been made to live overseas. I have friends with business degrees who could be making a lot more money who have become English teachers. I have friends with children who live 10,000 miles away from their families.
So why do it? Why give up comforts and salaries and even time with family? Like Mary, we’ve chosen the better thing. God’s kingdom work over comfort. A people who might otherwise not hear about Jesus over riches. Not to say that staying put isn’t challenging or valid. It isn’t just missionaries who give up things to follow Jesus. We all must. We’re all called to come and die.
What comfort do we have in all this, in living a life marked by sacrifice? Our comforts are three-fold. 1) Jesus says the better thing will not be taken away from us (Luke 10:42). It is an imperishable thing (1 Peter 1:4) because it’s Jesus Himself. 2) God is enough for us. We don’t need those things because God alone satisfies (Philippians 4:19). 3) Jesus says He will return to us ten-fold what we’ve given up for Him (Mark 10:29-30).
What might He be calling you to give up? To sacrifice for His name. Maybe He’s calling you out of your comfort zone or to give something up. Maybe He is calling you overseas. Whatever it is, choose to obey Him. Choose the better thing. It won’t be taken from you.