Since moving here three months ago, both my in-laws and my own parents have been here to visit. Twice each, in fact. Now, please understand that this isn’t a half hour drive. We are 1750 miles and 1300 miles away from them, respectively. So coming here is no small task. It requires either a two to three day drive or an airplane flight. Depending on circumstances, there may be a rental car and hotel stay involved. It requires planning ahead and making arrangements for being away, sometimes even getting off work and losing income while one is away. It’s not at all convenient, and it’s expensive. But both our families have already made the trip twice, and my dear friend, who has a broken leg, just made the trip with her family, braving bad weather and treacherous roads to serve as godparents for our newest child’s baptism. So of course the question is why? Why would anyone go to such lengths and spend so much money just for a couple days or a week-long trip? And as anyone who has made such arrangements before can tell you, the answer is really quite simple. The answer is love.

Love can cause people to go to great lengths for others. And those great lengths don’t always make sense on paper. It may seem that “it’s not worth it” when you look purely at the facts. But when you truly love someone you know better. You know that it is worth it. The costs involved and the sacrifices made are worth it for the chance to spend time with those you love.

Let’s talk about another trip with an expensive price tag. Jesus left His home in heaven to come down to this sinful world. For 33 years He gave up His throne, where He was worshiped and glorified by the saints and angels in heaven. And what did He get in exchange? He was tempted while fasting in the wilderness for 40 days. He was mocked and doubted, even when He performed miracles. He was rejected. He was beaten, crucified as a criminal, and killed. Not exactly sounding like a pleasant trip, is it? Sounds more like a waste of time… or was it?

You see, my friend, Jesus knew the cost beforehand. He knew, and yet He came. Joyfully. Hebrews 12:2 says, “For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” The joy set before Him? Coming to earth to die for a bunch of sinners? That’s “joy?” Dear one, you are His joy. He came to this earth for you. He knew what this trip would cost Him, but it was worth it because He knew in dying for you He would also live forever in heaven with you. That’s how much He loves you.

So the next time you’re planning a trip or having visitors come see you, don’t dwell on the costs. Instead, thank God for the opportunity to see your loved ones. And thank Him as well that you have Someone who loves you enough to make the most costly trip ever, just to be with you for all eternity.

Photo is Passport by jpmatth