i love movies. i love the stories they tell, the places they take you, the people they uncover, the adventures they unearth. last night i went to see "March of the Penguins," an incredible documentary following the life of emperor penguins and the obstacles they overcome. as i often do, i found myself in the theatre drawing out spiritual applications and catching glimpses of God's nature (his creation and character) from the story. for instance, the life parent penguins is one of great sacrifice, all for the sake of thier child. males and females march 70 miles to the mating area every year in late summer. once they mate and lay their egg, the mothers must travel back to the ocean for food, covering again 70 or more miles, and this time in more tenacious weather (yeah, they're in antarctica). meanwhile the father keeps the egg on top of his feet covered by his belly, and in the process has to go for more than 4 months without food...4 MONTHS! all in the dead of winter. talk about giving much of themself all for this one egg. (this movie also made me want to adopt a penguin as a pet!)
immediately upon seeing this heroic, consistent task your mind leaps to our Father in heaven, and the sacrifice he made so that we might have life, and have it to the full (john 10:10). this morning as i continue my reading in 2 samuel 21, i found another story of great sacrifice i had never heard. it's the end of david's life and there is a 3-year famine in judah. when david asks God why the Lord tells him it's because saul had put the gibeonites to death. now stay with me here. so david asks the gibeonites how he can make ammends, and they tell him to hand over 7 of saul's descendents to be killed and exposed before the Lord. david chooses 7 of saul's kids and grandkids, hands them over and they are put to death. i know this is a random, but i think it's interesting. once the 7 are dead, a lady named Rizpah who was the mother of 2 of the 7, spent almost a month with the bodies, making sure no bird or beast touch them. night and day she stayed with them--talk about sacrifice. as a result of these sacrifices, God answered their prayers on behalf of the land.
i think about sacrifice a lot; what it means and how to make it a constant part of my life. the Lord has shown me that the greater the cost, the greater the reward. bonhaffer talks about this quite a bit in "cost of discipleship." i desperately want to be a servant of the Lord who sacrifices my will, my comfort, my wants, my self, for the sake of God's kingdom. i want to live a life of sacrifice, for my family, my friends, my kids, even people i don't know. if we live a life that cost us much, we will truly know and understand more of God, and the life and love of his Son.