I've been reading Jungle Pilot, by Russell T. Hitt. It's a great book about Nate Saint, and I thought this small excerpt would be an encouragement to my friends: missionaries, military members, and others in service to the King.
You can get a copy of this book free here.
A fact that is mixed in a very important way with our work is the thing that became commonly known during the last war as "EXPENDABILITY."
The flying business is full of illustrations of this basic principle. God has seen fit to make a vehicle that is expendable essential to progress. There is always a price that must be paid.
During the last war (WW2) we were taught that, in order to obtain our objective, we had to be willing to be expendable, and many lives were spent paying the price of our redemption from the bonds of political slavery.
This very afternoon thousands of soldiers are known by their serial numbers as men who are expendable. During the last war we saw big bombers on the assembly line, row after row, powerful, costly implements of war! Yet we all knew--we actually KNEW that many of those bombers would not accomplish even five missions over enemy territory. We also knew that young fellows, many of them volunteers, would ride in those airborne machine-gun turrets, and their life expectancy behind those guns was (with the trigger down) only four minutes. Tremendous expendability!
We know that there is only one answer when our country demands that we share in the price of freedom--yet when the Lord Jesus asks us to pay the price for world evangelization, we often answer without a word. We cannot go. We say it costs too much.
God Himself laid down the law when He built the universe. He knew when He made it what the price was going to be. And the Lamb of God was slain in the counsels of God from before the foundation of the world. If God didn't hold back His only Son, but gave Him up to pay the price for our failure and sin, then how can we Christians bold back our lives-- the lives He really owns?
The Lord tells us that "He that loveth his life" -- we might say that "he that is selfish with his life" -- "shall lose it." It's inescapable.
Missionaries constantly face expendability. And people who do not know the Lord ask why in the world we waste our lives as missionaries. They forget that they too are expending their lives. They forget that when their lives are spent and the bubble has burst, they will have nothing of eternal significance to show for the years they have wasted.
Some might say, isn't it too great a price to pay? When missionaries consider themselves--their lives before God--they consider themselves expendable. And in our personal lives as Christians, isn't the same thing true? Isn't the price small in the light of God's infinite love? Those who know the joy of leading a stranger to Christ and those who have gone to tribes who have never heard the Gospel, gladly count themselves expendable. And they count it all joy.
"Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone." The apostle Paul said, "I die daily." "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service."
And Jesus said, "There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the Gospel's, but he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time . . . and in the world to come eternal life."