Is it worth it?
Occasionally the thought crosses my mind that being a missionary is uncomfortable. Having a real job with a consistent income and more measurable results appeals to me right now as I wonder if what I am doing is making ANY difference whatsoever in student's lives and as I struggle through trusting God to provide for my financial needs.
But Christ changes everything. Including my perspective.
In the Christmas message I see another missionary who struggled with His calling (Luke 22:44). Leaving the most comfortable home ever (Revelation 21:11), he came to reside in unholy and inadequate living conditions, with hay as a mattress (Luke 2:12) and an unsanitary barn where there were probably bed-bugs or at least mice, I imagine.
He also left the greatest community and perfect family (Matthew 27:45-46). Within the trinity, Jesus had every relational need perfectly met (Matthew 3:16-17). As a missionary, he was rejected by his imperfect family (Mark 3:21) and separated from those he loved (Mark 14:53). He was outcasted from his hometown and rejected by his closest community (Mark 15:13).
Jesus left his perfect home, perfect peace, perfect family, perfect community... for me. His only joy was that set before him... the cross. The railroad track between God's throne and my slums. Jesus became a missionary so that He could take me back home with Him. I'm a missionary so I can bring some of my friends with me. According to God, I'm worth the sacrifice. And so are you.
I will not offer to God that which costs me nothing. (2 Samuel 24:24)