Peter said to him, "We have left everything to follow you!"
"I tell you the truth," Jesus replied, "no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers children, and fields, along with persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first. (Mark 10:28-31)
It’s so easy at times to look at following Jesus in terms of what we have lost rather than what we have gained. Who knows, maybe Peter is even doing that in these very verses. But Jesus’ answer clearly gives us the lenses through which he wants us to view the kingdom. And when we put on those lenses—the lenses of gratitude—it totally changes our perspective. Think about it for a moment. As you have followed Jesus, to this point in your life, what have you lost? What places has it caused you to sacrifice? Pay attention to these, because they will be many, and the cost, in some cases, will have been high. There may have been moves and job changes and pay cuts. It may have required much time and effort and energy. It may have cost you loss of sleep or peace or heart. All of these are likely costs that we may have faced as we sought to follow God’s lead and direction in our lives.
Now take a few minutes and consider what you have actually gained from following Jesus? Oh maybe not in terms of material things and acclaim and worldly success, but in terms of quality of life and depth of relationships and a sense of meaning, purpose, and mission. I don’t know about you, but when I add up the two—almost fifty-six years into my life—it’s not even close. It’s just like Jesus said it would be. But, in all honesty, it actually feels way bigger than that. It feels like what he has given me is a thousand times more than what I had, rather than merely a hundred times more. It is an extraordinary life that God has given me. And I am so grateful. What about you?