Sacrifice (verb): to give up, let go
Although I’ve sacrificed temporarily to achieve a goal, it has never been to the level of putting my life on the line. The men and women who choose to protect us daily understand and are willing to sacrifice for something greater. Their service, discomfort and being away from home allow us to live in freedom. As we honor and salute them this week and on Veterans Day, I was reminded of Jesus’ sacrifice.
Our veterans sacrifice part of their lives to serve and protect the country they love. They have a vested interest-it’s their country. One could argue Jesus had no vested interest in sacrificing for us. But He did. His vested interest was His complete and utter love for us.
God created us in His image and we are His. He was willing to sacrifice anything, including Jesus for us. God is love; He could do no less than sacrifice fully. Jesus explains how He wants us to live with the same sacrificial love in John 15:12-13:
12 This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. 13 There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
Loving like Jesus is a difficult thing to do day in and day out. I too, sacrifice for those I love. But I have also been known to grumble. In fact, just this am I woke up grumbly. Juggling too much, not enough sleep and anxiety over concerns left me a bit irritable. While I understand and encourage others to trust and give their cares to Jesus, it’s still a daily moment by moment reminder for me as well. My small grumbles are nothing compared to others’ big issues or sacrifices our veterans make, yet I still worry and complain. So how do I shift my attitude?
By looking at the cross.
When I think of Jesus’ attitude, loving everyone and sacrificing for all, I can swallow my grumbles and move on; thankful for the life I have been given. I relax the white knuckle grip on my concerns casting them to Him. The tightness of my control lessens as I give up and let go. I feel His peace even in the midst of life’s storms.
Jesus’ sacrifice was all I need. My life is in His control and when I seek Him that is always clear. So my daily sacrifice is to let go of worry and control by giving it up to Him as the definition reminds me.
Our veterans know true freedom comes through sacrifice. While I let go of worry and control, I thank God for our veteran’s sacrifice and most importantly for the sacrificial love of Jesus, which brings the ultimate freedom of salvation.