Counting the Cost

 Nip Ripkin writes a personal story about time he and his family spent in Africa.

     “It was one of the hardest things I have ever had to watch, especially early in our overseas career.  Our entire family was sick, we all had malaria. 

We were being treated in a hospital miles from our mission station.  This was the fifth time that our sons had fallen sick with this disease, and the tenth time for my wife and I.  In this little concrete block hospital room the quinine IV’s were inserted and we waited 24 hours for the drip to be complete.”

   “We spent the next two weeks recovering at a friend’s home before making the long trip back to our service location.  Ten days before arriving home, our oldest son had malaria.”

   “This was no academic exercise for us.  We have salvation because Almighty God sent His Son.  We can never escape the fact that obedience to God’s will affects both individuals and entire families.”

   “We can invite our Muslim friends and children to come to Jesus only when we too have been willing for our family members to pay the price for following Jesus.  Our invitation to others is valid only if we too are willing to enter into shared suffering.”

   What risks are we willing to take in order to further the Kingdom of God?  What kind of “life” do we expect in the Christian life as opposed to the reality of what the Bible says will happen to His devoted ones?  We must count the cost or perhaps lay aside our profession if we refuse to accept the cost.