“Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. Mark 10:29 & 30
This passage has been marinating in my heart for the last few weeks, since we covered it in our young adult Bible study. It comes from a story in the Bible of a rich young man who wanted to know how he could inherit eternal life. When Jesus asked him to give up his riches and give them to the poor, the young man balked and ultimately couldn't do it.
While I'm familiar with the story, what struck me this time was the promise that God will replenish all that is sacrificed "in this present age." Not only that, but he will replace it one hundred fold. I made a mental list of all the things I've given up for the gospel, specifically in moving to Belize: my friends, my parents living nearby, my career, my house, 2 cars, my home church, good schools for my kids, a salary, health benefits....all things that I have walked away from, in order to walk in obedience and faith.
Sometimes when you lose so much it's hard to appreciate what comes in its place. Sometimes when we miss our favorite friends, our home church or the house we raised our kids in, we don't acknowledge the blessings God has brought into our lives since. So I've been counting my blessings. For the church ladies who check on me like a mom would. For having a house here that doesn't carry a mortgage. For connections with new churches who have taken a genuine interest in knowing and encouraging us. For new friendships and small groups where we can walk out our faith in community with others.
The life God is building here is beautiful. It isn't convenient or comfortable. It doesn't "feel like home" the way living in North America does. But God is filling in the pieces. He is restoring what was lost. He is enlarging our lives in subtle ways that we can miss if we aren't looking.
Have you sacrificed something for the Lord? Have you given up a loved one, a lifestyle, something that comforts you? God says He will replace it one hundred-fold. When we show that our allegiance is with Him, no matter the cost, He showers us with everything we need in this present age. His bartering system isn't one-for-one, but one hundred-for-one. He generously overcompensates us, out of His love and joy at seeing our faithfulness and trust in Him. The journey is terrifying, the cost is worth it. The rewards are more than enough in this beautiful barter.