Christians in 2009 struggle with commitment. We give up to easily. Hardships come, and we run the other way. Instead of asking God to teach us through trials, and strenthen us through trials, we ask God to remove the trials, and we have no interest in what God wanted to teach us. We just want life "our way."
The following is a quote by Adoniram Judson, the first missionary sent from the United States to a foreign country. He and his wife, Anne, left for Burma in 1812. Here is the letter that he wrote to his future father-in-law before he and Anne were married. Pay close attention to the level of commitment that Judson possessed.
I have now to ask whether you can consent to part with your daughter early next spring, to see her no more in this world? Whether you can consent to see her departure to a heathen land, and her subjection to the hardships and sufferings of a missionary life? Whether you can consent to her exposure to the dangers of the ocean; to the fatal influence of the southern climate of India; to every kind of want and distress; to degradation, insult, persecution, and perhaps a violent death? Can you consent to all this, for the sake of perishing immortal souls; for the sake of Zion and the glory of God? Can you consent to all this, in hope of soon meeting your daughter in the world of glory, with a crown of righteousness brightened by the acclamations of praise which shall redound to her Saviour from heathens saved, through her means, from eternal woe and despair?
There was no Plan B in the Judsons' life. His commitment would pay off. Although it took nearly seven years to see his first convert, he remained faithful to God's call upon his life. By the end of his life, the were over 8,000 believers and 63 churches. He also translated the entire Bible from Greek and Hebrew into Burmese, along with a Burmese-English dictionary.
Anne died in Burma, along with her and Adoniram's first two children. Sarah Boardman, the woman whom Judson married several years after Anne's death, died on a ship en route to the States, the only trip that Judson ever made back to America, thirty years after his initial arrival in Burma. Throughout all of these hardships, he remained committed.
How is your level of commitment? I must ask myself this question: "How much will it take to make me quit?"