I’ve been thinking a lot about sacrifice lately. Maybe it’s the buds sprouting green all around me, promising spring and Easter and new life, and one can’t think of that without remembering the sacrifice that made it all possible.
Or maybe it’s that twinge deep inside me that says things are just too comfortable around here, you know?
Either way, I’ve been thinking about sacrifice.
But from a new perspective.
You see, I’ve always thought of offerings from the view of the giver or the receiver, but lately, I’m beginning to see sacrifice from the inside.
And, according to Paul, that’s exactly where I am, right?
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God, which is your reasonable act of service.” Romans 12:1
See, it’s right there. I am the offering. Not my money, not my time…me.
And, that’s a little scary. Alters aren’t comfortable.
I mean, you do know what happens to sacrifices, right? They get consumed.
It means there’s nothing left. It’s all used. It’s all spent.
It makes me think of a new mother, wearily nursing a babe in her arms. At 2 a.m. she offers all she has, her strength, her will, her heart, and the life-giving milk that flows within her. All of it.
And about two hours later, she does it again.
Because that’s the thing about living sacrifices. The altar keeps calling.
So, unlike that new mother who can’t just pass the baton, I hold back. I place most of myself on the altar until the tired sets in, or the selfishness, or both.
But that’s not the way sacrifices work. They are meant to be consumed, used up, completed and perfected.
Even Jesus was “made perfect through suffering,” through sacrifice. (Hebrews 2:10)
And, because he placed himself on the altar, he could say, “It is finished.” Done. Perfected. Complete.
So, how can I live each day, willing to be spent? I hold so tightly to the vestige of energy I have left. How can I give even to the very last of it?
By letting God fill it new every day.
Because he will.
He does not expect me to crawl on the altar each morning in my own strength. Or, to stay there all day by myself.
He only asks for the obedience to offer myself and trust Him with how to spend me.