When I was a lot younger, my older brother, whom I idolized, challenged me to jump off a cliff into the ocean. There was only a meter-wide gap between rocks I would have to miss if I wanted to keep my bones intact. Despite my fears, and against my better judgment, I jumped off that high cliff. My arms and legs stung from the impact of the water, and I was close to tears when I swam to my brother for help. At the top of the cliff, I thought the risk involved was worth the chance of proving that I was “cool” and “fearless.” It really wasn’t. My brother laughed at me because instead of dropping down straight, like he told me, I tried to spread my limbs in the hope that they would slow down my fall. He blamed me for the pain I felt, even as he was comforting me. Let’s just say it wasn’t very comforting.
I’m too old to take that kind of risk, but life is full of risks. Taking the bus to Kampala and back is a risk. Being in Gulu is a risk. Re-opening a school that encountered many problems in the past is a risk. Training teachers and pouring my life into them is a risk.
Exhaustion, sickness, disappointment, emotional pain, even death—these are all possible consequences of what God has called me to do. But He is worth it. Unlike my brother, God never dares me to take a risk without the assurance of His provision of grace. And He has already planned ahead–even though He hasn’t shown it to us yet. No one is going to laugh at me in the end, even though I follow God imperfectly.
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. Romans 8:18
Whatever the consequence of following hard after God, it is worth it. He is worth it. It’s not at all like risking an injury or an accident. In fact, it’s not a risk. The glory is assured. All our tears will be wiped away by God Himself.
He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth… Isaiah 25:8
It is all worth it. And on that day, we will look back and regret all the fears, the doubts and misgivings we ever had about following God. The most glorious part of it is, God will not reprove us there. His grace will be so glorious and all-encompassing. It will be enough to forget this fleeting life, even if it may be full of adversity. Glory!