Sacrifice is an everyday reality for me, like most moms. We sacrifice our bodies, our intellectual pursuits, our careers, our leisure time, our privacy.... All these sacrifices leave us with less of certain things, in exchange for the rewards of happy, healthy children and marriages. Would we change much? Probably not.
I have to admit, though, that I have moments of selfishness when I want to scream "MINE!" and grasp frantically to hold on to a few moments alone in the bathroom, or with a book, or a meal, or coffee, hot to the bottom of the cup.
In this selfishness is a certain amount of desperation -- of hunger. It stirs a cry of longing, and in that longing, I am focused on my lack -- lack of time, lack of resources, lack of freedom, lack of devotion and prayer. In that longing, the last thing I am thinking about is greater sacrifice!
My previous post was about the power of praise to transform circumstances. How much more sacrificial praise!
I was in the chapel recently, in the depths of one of these "cries of longing." Okay, I admit it. I was whining. But in the corner of my mind came the smallest whisper: "Sacrifice of praise". It was a phrase used so lightly in my upbringing -- it really had very little meaning for me beyond its use in a rather up-tempo praise chorus we used to sing. But there, before that altar, in the presence of Christ, I began to read aloud psalms of praise -- psalms that acknowledged God for his attributes and exhorted others to do the same. I didn't feel like praising. It was truly a sacrifice to lift my voice just then. But as I did, something amazing began to happen: a transformation of my perspective. My circumstances didn't change. My needs didn't change. My attitude, however, did. There, before that altar, I acclaimed aloud that He is holy, He is worthy, He is the joy of my salvation, He is able.
I acclaimed Christ as King, and in my acclamation I found peace. I found rest for my soul. I found myself able to return home and face the day in gratitude for the many blessings I have been given.