At any cost……are words every devoted Christ follower wants to say and at the same time fears saying with any sincerity to the Lord. The cost of following Him isn’t inexpensive. Many people throughout history have paid with their lives. Many continue to suffer in great ways for their faith.
Yet, every story that I’ve ever read about one who suffered for their faith, is the story of a gentle, humble person, whose love for Jesus shames me. One of those people is Marj Saint Van Der Puy. She is the wife of Nate Saint. You may remember that Saint, along with four other missionaries, was speared to death in the jungles of the Amazon more than 50 years ago.
That would be cost enough – knowing that your husband died in such a violent way and living in a country that was not your own with 3 small children. But for Marj that was only the beginning of the price that Christ would exact in her life. Before her death in 2004, she would live through the death of her 2nd husband and be diagnosed with cancer 4 times. Yet, with an unwavering faith, here is what she said about a year before her death.
“I told the Lord I wanted His will for my life at any cost. And little did I know that that cost would be, but it still hasn’t been too much. Even now, with cancer for the fourth time, I still want God’s will at any cost. This is a cost I hadn’t thought about paying, but I’m paying it. I’m paying it willingly. If I could go back and make that statement again, I’d do it again.”
I’ve just finished watching her autobiography and I am unable to find the words to describe this woman. Gentle. Kind. Unwavering. Fierce. You could just feel His presence when she spoke.
I want with everything in me to say that to Jesus. But I know that in my humanness I cling to my health with all that is within me. I cling to the people that I hold dear. I hold my finances with a tight fist thinking that my bank account is an indicator of how well I’m being taken care of. I wrap these material things around me as if they are enough security to get me through this world – knowing full well that they are not.
The cost to follow Him……what price will it exact in my life? In yours? It makes be a little bit fearful to be honest. But as I write these words I am listening to the Muslim call to prayer going out across my city and I know that men and women are being led deeper into that deception on a daily basis. Whatever it costs me to know Him and to take His light into a broken place – it can’t cost more than the souls of His precious children in eternal darkness.
I hope that one day as an old woman I’ll be able to echo those words, “Little did I know what the cost would be, but it still hasn’t been too much.” More than anything else, I want to be found faithful – faithful to the ONE who has always been faithful to me. I am willing to pay the cost of discipleship – even unto death, if it pleases Him. I am not asking to die – I do not wish that for myself or for my family. I want to live until I am old and have the opportunity to live in the villages of
with the hugs and kisses of hundreds of children while I tell them about Jesus. I want to share my food with families who have rarely understood what it’s like to have a full belly of food. I want to laugh and weep with the ones that He gives me to care for in this place. Mozambique
But, in the midst of all this, if I find out that His dreams for me are different – that’s okay, too.