On my mission trip to East Asia, I felt that God was calling me to the roof of the house we were staying at. I took a book I had been reading, The Cost of Discipleship, by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Looking over the city, I asked God why he had called me up there. He kept saying that he wanted me to grow. He was preparing my heart for things to come. He told me to look at things I had highlighted in my book. As I flipped through it, one quote grabbed me and would not let go.
“Therefore, wherever it pleases God to put man in this world, the Christian must be ready for martyrdom and death. It is only in this way that man learns faith.”
I didn’t accept this quote with joy and excitement. How could I? I felt God asking me if I was ready and I was really scared. What was I preparing for? Why did I have to be ready? Was God calling me to martyrdom and death? He couldn’t possibly be asking me do die! Things had gone deep really quickly and I wasn’t sure how to respond. Even as I questioned what God was asking me, I felt him gently whisper a question to my heart.
“You have so many hopes and dreams. There are so many things you’re looking forward to for when you go back home. If I called you to die here, would you?”
I had heard stories about martyrs and missionaries, ordinary people dying for their faith. Their boldness and commitment to God was inspiring. In my heart I hoped I would stand up for what I believe, but I was challenged in that.
Would I really die for my faith? What would happen to my family and my friends? I would never accomplish my dreams or fulfill my dreams. Is that truly what he wanted?
There are no “maybes” with God. He’s an all or nothing. There would be no negotiation. He wanted everything from me. He wanted my hopes, my dreams, my family, my friends.
So on a rooftop in East Asia, I died to myself and my desires. “Everything I have, everything I am, I sign over to you,” I prayed, “Even if you call me to come and die, I will.”
Surrendering everything to God prepared my heart for things to come later on in that trip. He worked in my life in so many amazing ways. I know that they would have never happened if I had not come to the Worthy One and died.
Katie graduated from her DTS earlier this year. She is aways read for an adventure. It doesn’t matter if it’s around the corner or across the globe, you can bet Katie will bring candy and joy.