A recent story changed my thinking about the word sacrifice. My small group was discussing the widow's mite from Mark 12 when one man told of an event from a mission trip he had taken to Kenya. The church there was holding an outdoor fundraising event. He was surprised that the church leaders sat in front of the box in which donations were placed. As each person came forward, their name and amount was announced for all to hear! Two women in attendance had walked nearly 10 miles to attend this important event and carefully placed the equivalent of 25 cents into the box. It was apparent to all that this money came at great sacrifice, like that famous widow's mite. My friend, his voice full of emotion, said that this experience humbles and challenges him every time he recalls it.
Reflecting on this story, I realized that I have never really sacrificed anything. I'm not sure that I can even relate to someone walking 10 miles to give a donation to a church. I walk no further than my desk to pull out my checkbook! I am "poor" in experience compared to those "rich" ladies, a perfect example of the verse in James that tells the rich to glory in their poverty (James 1:10). Those Kenyan women (and probably many in their church) are in a much better position to understand what the writer of Hebrews meant when he penned "Christ...has appeared once for all...to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself" (Hebrews 9:26). He gave it all--for us. He who was rich became poor--for us. Is God calling you to sacrifice something so that your poverty might become true riches? I think I hear His voice calling me.