It’s probably all too easy for all of us to forget to love sacrificially at times. Human intent naturally seems to be selfish. Living for numero uno comes naturally to us. But the Bible verse I was shown this morning reminded me that I need to live the opposite way. Hebrews 13:16 says:
And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.
I like when Bible verses or passages make me think of how I can apply them, or put them into action in my life. I get legitimately excited when I can DO something and live an active faith! I love learning wisdom from the Bible that I can commit to memory, but I love even more when I can put something I learn into action. Take a few seconds to think of ways you already live sacrificially, or think of ways you can live sacrificially. We are all busy people. But no one is ever too busy to show the sacrificial love of Jesus with acts of kindness.
Two ways I try to live sacrificially in my own life situation, is by donating either my time or money to the local homeless shelter here where I live, or by taking the time to write blog posts such as this, so others can hear of the Good News of Jesus. I enjoy doing it for all of you, but it takes a little time and energy to put these out. On days like today where I know He wants me to say something, I listen to Him. I choose to let myself be an instrument through which He can speak if He chooses to. I’m just a tool though. Nobody special. I also enjoy living sacrificially when I do something nice for others as a surprise just to see the smile on their face! Their happiness is enough 🙂
A Mother’s Sacrificial Love
But my examples are just small, everyday examples. They are insignificant compared to the sacrificial love a mother shows her children. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that this particular Bible verse showed up the day after Mother’s Day, the day we celebrate all that our mothers do for us. I think God wanted me to speak on this. A lot of the celebration of Mother’s Day honors and recognizes deep, sacrificial love. Selfless love. A love only a mother knows. My mother Stacy Wickiser, is a great example of what it means to live and love sacrificially!
I can only imagine how much love and selflessness it takes from a mother to raise a physically normal child. Let alone one born with Cerebral Palsy. But that was the situation my mom found herself in 30 years ago. She, like Dad, was definitely scared and uncertain once I was diagnosed with my condition. She could’ve treated me differently. She could’ve seen me as a burden. She could’ve given up on me in any number of ways. But she did not think of any of that for a second! All that mattered to her was giving me the best quality of life she could possibly give me. And she still thinks this way even now!
She worried about me as a baby, like any good mother would. When I was a toddler and little boy, she took me to therapy to learn how to walk and live with my condition. 90 minutes a day driving me there and back, along with hours of watching over me as the therapists worked with me to improve how I was doing.
As I grew from a young boy into a teenager, there were two surgeries on my legs so I’d be able to walk properly. And both times, she was there for me while I was in pretty rough pain during 6-8 weeks of recovery. If the pain got so bad I cried, she was extra gentle with me. When the time came for me to return to school, she went out of her way to make sure all my classes were accessible while I recovered in my wheelchair, and so I could see my classmates and friends.
As I grew from a teenager into a man, there were countless times where she’d drive me up to Kent State and back, or do my laundry on the weekends I was home. She asked for nothing. And later on she worked as a housekeeper at the University of Findlay, so I could pursue a Master’s Degree that was virtually free because she’s a University employee. I know children like to brag that their mothers are the best. But I have yet to find a greater example of sacrificial love in my own life than my Mom.
Mom, if you’re reading this, thank you. Thank you for living a sacrificial life for Christy and I. I apologize for the times I have lost sight of all you’ve done and for when I have been ungrateful. I would not be where I am today if it weren’t for your love and guidance. I love you always, no matter what!
The Greatest Sacrifice
There is only one greater example of sacrificial love than that of a mother for her children: The love Jesus Christ showed for us all when He willingly went to the Cross to pay the price for our sins with His own blood. It’s the greatest example of sacrificial love in all of history, past, present and future. Forevermore.
Jesus sacrificed everything. He sacrificed more time in Heaven with God. He left the comfortable, unimaginably beautiful Paradise where He had lived with His Father and countless angels. He came to this sinful world as a helpless baby, and grew up poor in the tiny little town of Nazareth. As a grown man, He endured 40 days of temptation from the Devil in the desert. He could’ve thrown in the towel then, gave up, and said “You know what, screw this I’m going home! It’s too hard!” But He didn’t do that. He endured His trials.
He knew He would make enemies with the religious authorities of His day, and with the Romans. But He sacrificed there too. He sacrificed the comfortable life He could’ve had as a wise rabbi with a wife and children if He had kept quiet and didn’t rock the boat. But He chose to live as the only truly holy and sinless example of grace, love, fearlessness, and absolute truth there has ever been in human history. And then He willingly endured the most painful death imaginable on a Roman cross on the outskirts of Jerusalem. He did all this out of a sacrificial love that cannot be measured, and never will be measurable by our human standards!
In today’s selfish society, I will strive to remember that I should live selflessly and sacrificially, and then look for ways to live like this. I encourage you all to do the same in your own lives. For if we do this, we become just a little bit more like the Lord. And hopefully He smiles on us 🙂