I pursued a medical career right out of undergraduate. In all honesty I did not know what I wanted to do. I wanted to share Jesus with people. Before long I was full force in my medical education. I went through all the grueling courses, long rotations, exhausting step exam and finally I could call myself a doctor. I had a degree and 3 medical leaves under my belt to prove that the road was not easy for me. But what do you do after medical school, you have to do residency. So I did what I was supposed to do and for 3 years every day was a sacrifice. Every day I had to force myself to do my job and fake a smile on my face. After my fourth medical leave within my training, I started asking why am I sacrificing? I was not sacrificing in love, no I was sacrificing for obligation.
When you make a sacrifice, why do you make it? What is the motivation? What is the heart? Sacrificing goes against human nature which is to preserve self. Sacrificing is the opposite of our innate desire which is to be safe and happy. Sacrifice goes against so many of our ingrained instincts. So why does anyone sacrifice particularly for a stranger or even an enemy? It is through the spirit and it is done in love and faith.
When we sacrifice for Love we are not doing it because of what we gain. We are not doing it for honor or glory. We are doing it for love. It is an out flowing of the spirit inside us that is against all our human nature. It is not natural. But it is beautiful. Jesus sacrifice himself for love not obligation. If you feel like you are sacrificing, ask yourself why am I doing this? If the motivation is love and you have peace then it is from God. If it is for anything else maybe you are not supposed to be sacrificing. For Jesus has already sacrificed for you and he is enough.
We are sometimes called to sacrifice but not always. How do we know when it’s time to sacrifice? We know when the motivation behind it is love and their is a sense of peace in the midst of a storm. We know when in your heart it does not feel like a sacrifice even when everyone else would say it is. For when God calls you to sacrifice it does not feel like a sacrifice, rather it feels like an embrace. It is not forced, coerced or manipulated. It is straight forward, full with peace, love and hope.
When I decided to forgo starting my first job as doctor to spend all day painting, writing and doing housework so many people exclaimed “are you crazy?” For many people they look at it as I am sacrificing all my hard work for the past 10 years. I am sacrificing a stable pay check and a job most people dream about. But to me it is not a sacrifice rather I am to exhausted to sacrifice any longer. I want to share Jesus with people and I can do that in many ways that do not include me being a doctor. Furthermore I can probably do it better because I am not over my limit daily. It is not a sacrifice for me. It is an embrace.