I Will Not Sacrifice Something That Has Cost Me Nothing


Veronica Porter, Missionary, Papua New Guinea

I Will Not Sacrifice Something That has Cost Me Nothing

When I think about altars and sacrifice, I often think of King David. In 2 Samuel 24, David followed his pride and counted on his fighting men rather than trusting in God to be the One who fought for his nation. He was shown the error of his ways and a very severe punishment was given to the nation of Israel for his sin. David was told to build an altar at a specific place to offer a burnt offering for his sin. When he got there, the owner of the land wanted to help his earthly king so the man offered to give David anything he needed. David’s reply in verse 24 (NIV) was: “No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the LORD my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.”

I will not sacrifice to the LORD my God something that has cost me nothing. 

How this has challenged me. Our sacrifices today are not the oxen or lambs of the Old Testament, but God does ask things of us that require sacrifice—and it may be different for every person. I am a wife, mother to four children, and a bush missionary in Papua New Guinea. I LOVE my life! My house is wonderful, and when I look out my windows I see beautiful, lush, green mountains. My kids have adventures every day that kids in the U.S. can only dream about. I get to be part of a community whose language and culture is so different from my own. We are honored that God asked this of us. And yet, there is a cost.

We miss birthdays, holidays, and time with our extended families. My youngest child came to PNG at 6 months old, and she’ll be 4 before we return. She has missed out on knowing her cousins and grandparents. Some nights, I comfort my older kids as they cry themselves to sleep because they miss their cousins.  

It has cost me a comfortable life. We live four hours from town over rough roads. I have to cook everything from scratch, every day. Due to the culture, I have to wear skirts; and for this girl who loves her some shorts and tank tops, that’s hard. I also can’t wear makeup, and due to our limited solar power, I can’t blow dry my hair in the mornings on days I just want to look nice. I am introverted and don’t like big crowds, and anywhere we go huge crowds gather around to just stare. 

Seth has experienced huge stress with his work projects when a key piece of machinery breaks and we have no parts to fix it. If he’s lucky, he may find the parts after running to five different stores in town. Cultural differences can also make working alongside our Papua New Guinean brothers and sisters very stressful. Life here can be hard and exhausting.

It has cost us our health at times. Whenever Seth comes home from traveling out to preach and visit, he is ill for days afterwards. The closest good hospital is five hours away, and we have experienced the fear and difficulty of getting there in an emergency.

Seth got very sick in December 2016, and we had to make that trip. It was scary. It took a lot of tests to figure out what was wrong. It was hard trying to make sure he got what he needed and also care for our kids at the same time. He was diagnosed with hepatitis, and we were away from home—in town or at the hospital—for three weeks.  

Yes, serving Jesus has a cost, but it is worth it! The God who is Almighty, King of Kings, and the Great I Am loves me with such an unending, unconditional love that He sent His Son to be my sacrifice. How can I say no to Him when He asks me to sacrifice everyday close family relationships and some comfort and health? Jesus sacrificed His life on the altar cross for me. I have learned that HE is worth it and that HE will honor and look after those who are willing to sacrifice and daringly follow Him. 

Things may not be perfect and hard times will come, but He makes all things good! I have seen the beauty of His Church working together and have felt the miracle of prayers said in different languages from His people around the world. This is the God I serve, the God to whom I will not sacrifice something that has cost me nothing. It has cost me, but HE is worth it and has blessed me beyond what I have ever dreamed.