In my last post I wrote about the material cost of following Christ. Since our little boy was born, I’m challenged again to consider costs verse rewards.
It is easy with children to focus on the costs. You hear of them all the time – lack of sleep; loss of “freedom”; giving up careers; money, money and more money to spend . . . The list is endless. I was surprised during my pregnancy how common it was for people to focus on the costs laid up ahead of us. There were plenty of people who seemed to want to daunt and scare us than encourage us regarding the joys of parenthood. (Thank you everyone who was an encouraging voice – you were also not few in number!).
Sure, Glenn and I are still in our early days of parenthood. Sure, I’m functioning on a few hours sleep. Sure, friends and family get to cuddle content baby whilst we soothe him when he’s upset, change the nappies, and deal with poopy laundry. Sure, my nipples and my episiotomy stitches hurt. But I wouldn’t change a thing. Why? Because the reward is worth the cost.
In a society so often focused on the cost, I want to begin to focus on the rewards. It is through relationship with God and His love working in me that I can achieve this. God enables us to look beyond ourselves, to lay down our selfishness, and give out to others. The Word declares the truth:
Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. (Psalm 127:3).
We could continue counting costs. We could continue to focus on what baby is taking away. But instead we are focusing on the joy he gives us. He is a blessing from God. He is a reward from our heavenly Father. We are indeed blessed to have him. We are blessed to be up all night; to cry from sheer exhaustion; and to have a little life to lead, guide and train up in the ways of the Lord.
This post is about our experience with a newborn, but there are many things in life where the reward comes at a cost. Where in life are you focused on the cost to yourself rather than the reward? And remember that rewards can often be delayed, and sometimes they’re not to be seen until the coming Kingdom. Stand firm at such times, looking to the reward.
These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city. (Hebrews 11:13-16)