Wednesday, May 13, 2009

To Die is Gain? Is it?

My thoughts are going all over the place this morning, so if I am not making any sense, please forgive me!

Monday night, Jimbo, Melissa and I watched a movie called "The End of the Spear". It is a true story and I know many of you have heard of it or have even seen it. It is basically about Jim Elliott and a group of missionaries in Ecuador. Five of the men are speared and killed by tribesmen but their families remain to carry out their calling and spread the gospel. This movie just touched my heart and made me come face to face with some realilities in my own life.

My family is very mission minded. My husband has been to the Phillipines, Romania, Africa and Nicaragua (2 times). He is going to India in August for 3 weeks. I have been on one mission trip to Nicaragua. My daughter Melissa has been to Bolivia, South America once and 10 days after she graduates Friday (yay!) she will head back to Bolivia for almost 5 weeks. She is also scheduled to go to Camaroon, Africa this fall to work at a medical missions for 3 months. So you see, I LOVE missions and I understand what missions is all about.

"For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain" (Philippians 1:21)

But....As I watched this movie and was just horrified at the brutal killing of these men, I thought to myself - "Would I be willing to go somewhere knowing that I could be killed just like that?" I mean, anytime we go to another country there is always the possibility that we could lose our life for the gospel of Christ. But would I be willing to go if I knew that it was more than just a possibility and more like a probability? If I knew that people had been killed there before? Would I?

I was a little disappointed in myself at my first answer. I am not sure that I would go KNOWING that I was more than likely going to lose my life and that thought scares me. It brought me to tears just realizing that I am not that strong in my faith. I can honestly say that it scares me to think about it and that is just pitiful! I should be MORE than willing to die for my Savior after everything that He has done and continues to do for me. What an eye opening revelation for me.

I have a long way to go in my step-by-step growth in the Lord. I am just trodding along and trying my best to keep my focus on Him. I love Him more than I could ever imagine. I am so thankful for the mercy He has shown me in my life and that He continues to show me. I desire to draw closer and closer to His heart. I want His praise to be continually on my lips.

You know what my problem is? I haven't let God truly be the Lord of my life. I still have my hand on the end of the reign and haven't quite turned it all over to Him yet. Oh, I love Him. I love Him more than I can even begin to tell you. I want to serve Him. I want to KNOW Him more. But I haven't quite let Him have it ALL. I need to surrender it ALL. He is worthy.

We all want a Savior. But how many of us want a LORD?

Thank you for praying for my husband last night. He could barely talk, but PRAISE GOD when he got up to preach, the Lord just reached down and touched his voice and he preached a powerful sermon! The Lord reached back down and had mercy on a grown man's soul as he came forth for salvation. Praise God for Robert Williams' salvation last night.

The more I seek You, the more I find you and the more I find You, the more I love You,



petrii said...

I am so thankful that you post the realness of life in Christ. You are unafraid to post fears, and you are willing to face them head on. That my dear is a gift.

You touched my heart with this post. I haven't seen that movie. I didn't know what it was about.

I love you friend.

Have a Blessed day,
PS Please keep me posted on Josiah. Do they have a blog?

LisaShaw said...

You know someone else mentioned this movie yesterday on their blog and I said I had not seen it but then when I viewed the trailer I recalled that we did see it a few years back in VA when I was a prayer counselor at CBN.

Thank you for sharing your heart with us. Powerful!

Pam said...

Beth, I have seen the movie, and I use to be so gung ho about being a martyr for Christ! And then one night I was reading about this ordeal in Russia and how this woman was beat severely multiple times. It was at that moment, I started crying and said "Lord, I don't think I could go as far as I thought I could". I too, felt ashamed that it wasn't in me to "die" for Jesus. That has been a while ago and I have since learned that if you are called to do just that, He will prepare your heart to do just that. For it is about His glory. However, it still doesn't make it easy thinking about the torture and terrible death some people face for Jesus!! We are definitely spoiled! I am the first to raise my hand! love ya! pam

Claire said...

What a thought-provoking and honest post! Thank you for sharing.


President: Tessa Hess, CPIW said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Beth, I so have God bumps...I my mind is flooded! Whew! I may just have to e-mail you!

I do want to respond here on one statement you made, "I was a little disappointed in myself at my first answer. I am not sure that I would go KNOWING that I was more than likely going to lose my life and that scares me."

I had a similar realisation watching, of all things the most current Rambo, I know God is so cool isn't he-to speak to me through that! Bub and my 16 yr cousin wanted to watch it, I was out voted. It really troubled me that these people were being killed, just because the rebels wanted to...being tortured...because they didn't go along with their ways...I thought that same thing...Could I say "I love God and Jesus is my Savior and I will ALWAYS serve him." Knowing that as soon as I said it I would be shot, throat slit, tortured or tormented. It really made my stomach twist and my heart heavy with disappointment in myself.

I prayed several days trying to find releif from that feeling. I told my mother...(who is wise)...Here is how mom put it to me-and God sent my comfort with this; God loves us, God does not want to harm us or to cause us to go through harm, God knows our weaknesses and our strengths, He knows our life....when and if that time ever comes for me...God will know just what you can endure...and He will make an escape before it is too late-

I took that to mean God would take me out and I would die-before I denied HIM.

Laurie said...

Thanks for your honesty. I have had the exact same thoughts and questions. We are mission minded too and I am not sure what God will call my family to or how He will take us home one day. For me, I try not to think about it alot, because of my husband's gentle reminders. Russell was a missionary in Israel and faced physical persecution. He says that there is a grace for suffering when it comes and not when I think of it in advance. He reassures me that if God allows physical suffering in life or death that His grace will be there in a way I can't understand. That helps me a lot. Russell has a way of looking at suffering, persecution, and being a martyr that simply does not exist in my emotions or thoughts. He reminds me that there is a special eternal crown for those who lose their lives for Christ. I know you would stand for Him sister if the day arose knowingly or not. Thanks for your love for the Lord and the realness of your faith! God bless, Laurie

Yolanda said...


Honestly, I'm right there with you. Others tell me that in the midst of that type of a circumstance, that is when the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will truly wash over me and then....YES GOD.

So until that day, I will continue giving a little piece of me each day and BELIEVE GOD.

Love to you,

valerie said...

God has been speaking to me lately about trusting Him....really trusting Him. In fact just yesterday I pulled out a dvd series of Beth Moore's that someone gave me. She did it on James Robison's show "Wednesday's With Beth." It's called "Who Will You Trust?"
She talks about Deuteronomy chapter 1 in verse 32 "Yet in this one thing ye did not believe the Lord your God..." (you would have to read a few verses before to get the whole idea)
I often think of all the things I believe Him for and have no trouble trusting Him with and then that one thing creeps in that I can't seem to trust Him with.
Beth says "We must move our faith from the head - just knowing about God and His ability to work in our lives - to the heart where we experience the fullness of a new life in Christ."

You have such a sweet, servant heart. I can tell.
God knows your heart Beth.

I'm glad to hear that prayers were answered for your husband and that a precious soul was saved.

God bless you!

cindy said...

I have read the book but never saw the movie.

Pam said it more elegant than I did.
Don't get so upset with yourself about not knowing if you would die for Christ.
We are all given different gifts and God didn't give me the gift to be a missionary, and maybe that isn't your gift either.

God knows your heart.


Our God is a missionary GOD!! Until I went to Mexico last fall and spoke to the native Pastor's wives and women there - I had no idea the conditions with which they endure, they live, and they worship. We have no right to complain about anything! One person at a time - one-by-one - God brings people to Himself. We must "go and tell" - here AND there - even if our life is the cost - it is worth it!

Choosing JOY,
[JESUS - the One I Worship]

Tricia said...

What a wonderful post... I have seen this movie before and was deeply moved by it also, I was also deeply moved by the book "In the Presence of My Enemies" by Gracia Barnam (I may have spelled her name wrong...)

People whose lives has drastically been changed by their service for the Lord... it makes me search my heart also... I am thankful that we are works in progress and that the Lord does not expect us to be immediately conformed into the image of His Son.


Jensmere said...

Bless you, sweet Beth! All I can say is that my heart echoes with AMEN!

Love you, dear one,

The Burgess Family said...

What a great post!! I am sooo glad your husband has his voice back and was able to reach so many people!!!

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