Hello again, Whole30. I did the Whole30 diet in January – a little bit inconspicuously, I might add, because I don’t like to do the diet thing and do what everyone else is doing – and now I’m at it again. Who knows, this time might be more of a Whole39 or Whole95. I think it will turn into more of a lifestyle for me. Why? Wasn’t it hard? Yes, January was a little tedious and I missed eating chocolate and pizza gluten free pasta and goat cheese and oatmeal. But if I had known what that “sacrifice” would bring me, I would’ve hopped on the Whole30 train years ago, and that’s the reason I’m on the “diet” (do I actually have to use the d-word?) again. Because the result was so great that the sacrifice was worth it. This time around it doesn’t even feel very much like a sacrifice. It feels much more like an exchange in which I’m willing, even happy, to trade something in because I know what I’m getting in return.
Could we reimagine sacrifice in that way? Reimagine sacrifice into simply an exchange – something we would gladly exchange if we knew what we had in store. In that situation, the thing that’s being given up is not lost, it’s not “sacrificed,” it’s just traded in for something much better.
The other day I was sad about a sacrifice I was making in life, something I felt like I was losing and I felt God gently say, “If only you knew what’s coming, Rebecca..” If I knew what’s coming, I would not only be willing to make the sacrifice but eager to make the exchange.
The same applies with my receiving Jesus and receiving what He wants to give me. If only I knew! My pastor recently preached a sermon (here, if you care to listen!) about feasting on Jesus to satisfy the deep longing of our souls. The longings of our hearts are the hunger pangs of our souls, and they demand to be satisfied. I look to and feast on all sorts of things to ease the hunger, but its demands grows louder and stronger within me. If only you knew, Rebecca. If only I knew what kind of deep satisfaction and gifts Jesus is trying to give me, the things with which I try to medicate my longings would pale in comparison. I would gladly make that sacrifice – my sweet Savior himself instead of the band-aids and crutches that claim they’ll satisfy me. Sacrifice reimagined into an exchange that I’m eager to make.
George MacDonald has said, “Man finds it hard to get what he wants, because he does not want the best; God finds it hard to give, because He would give the best, and man will not take it.” If we can know, taste, and imagine what God is offering us (his gifts and himself), the exchange will be a bit more willing and a bit more eager.
“Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.” – Philippians 3:8