“Then Peter began to speak up. ‘We’ve given up everything to follow you,’ he said.
‘Yes,’ Jesus replied, ‘and I assure you that everyone who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or property for my sake and for the sake of the gospel will receive now in return a hundred times as many houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and property – along with persecution. And in the world to come that person will have eternal life.’” – Mark 10:28-30
Sometimes there are days when I think, is it REALLY going to be worth it? Nate and I have forgone our dream careers we finally had in order to go to a fringe people group and tell them about who God really is.
We COULD take the easy way out and show the Jesus Film in a few days, come back and continue our careers without skipping a beat (oops that might have stepped on some toes), or share the gospel through the country’s national language of English or Spanish or French and be out in a year, (oops), or speak through an interpreter and be out in a month (oops).
But instead we’re going to learn the tribal language of a remote people group, that no one in the history of the earth has EVER documented. It exists only on the lips of the people who speak it. So our team is going to figure it out and write it down, and give the people an alphabet and teach them how to read what they’ve only been speaking for thousands of years, all so that we can translate the Bible and they can read it in their first language – in the language of their hearts, the language that they’ve listened to as their mom spoke sweet words to them as she rubbed her belly: THAT language; the only language that can really speak to someone’s soul.
So I sit here on a Friday night at 10:00 working on analyzing a language from Ethiopia, trying to figure out if the people hear glottals, delayed-released stops, voicing, spirantization, geminate clusters and how they interpret syllable profiles, codas, onsets and a dozen other stupid things.
Does it really matter?
Yeah. It does.
I’ll leave the rest to my friend, John Calvin –
“What he promises about recompensing them a hundredfold appears not at all to agree with experience; for in the greater number of cases, those who have been deprived of their parents, or children, and other relatives — who have been reduced to widowhood, and stripped of their wealth, for the testimony of Christ — are so far from recovering their property, that in exile, solitude and desertion, they have a hard struggle with severe poverty.
But I reply, if any man estimate aright the immediate grace of God, by which he relieves the sorrows of his people, he will acknowledge that it is justly preferred to all the riches of the world.
The apostles, though they had scarcely begun the course, were hastening to demand the prize. And such is the disposition of almost all of us, that, when a month has elapsed, we ask, like soldiers who have served their time, to receive a discharge. But Christ exhorts those who have begun well to vigorous perseverance, and at the same time gives warning, that it will be of no avail to runners to have begun with alacrity, if they lose courage in the midst of the course.”