Seeing our life from a new perspective can change how we deal with our circumstances. The article below is from a couple just before they were returning to their overseas ministry this fall. We include it because the perspective shared here is applicable to so many of us, regardless of where we are currently serving our Lord.
"When we left 5 years ago, we were clueless about the toll of cross-cultural ministry. It is hard to live overseas. We miss our family, friends, and American lifestyle. It is also hard to minister cross-culturally. Misunderstandings abound, and they often come with an emotional cost.
So why the change in heart? It comes from a change of perspective. While it was helpful to label some of my experiences as suffering, the better label is sacrifice. Suffering indicates that I am wallowing in my circumstances and that life is too hard - I am living as a victim. This was where I often went this last year, believing that I was a victim and that God didn't care about me.
Sacrifice instead acknowledges that my circumstances are hard, but I am looking beyond the immediate, seeing the loss as being worth it. Choosing the harder path for the good of others is the way of love. And as I reflect on it, it brings me to the cross. Jesus chose the way of sacrifice. He did suffer and die, but he did so with purpose in love, for his Father's glory and the world's (and my!) good.
This heart change not only makes me ready to go back, but it also makes me hopeful. Jesus uses his followers for his kingdom purposes. God has a reason for our sacrifice, both in me and through me. He never wastes pain! The One who laid his life down for others in love, he calls us, he calls me, to follow him to do the same."