I was also challenged by the high personal cost Nabeel has had to pay to follow Christ. His relationships with his peaceful and loving parents has been torn to shreds:
"After my family learned of my conversion, they have not been the same. My mother has tears in her eyes whenever I see her, a quiver in her voice whenever I hear her, and absolute despair on her face in sleep and while awake. Never have I met a mother more devoted to her children than my mother, and how did I repay her? In her mind, decades worth of emotional and physical investment ended up with her son espousing views that are completely antithetical to everything she stands for. My father, a loving, gentle, and big-hearted man with every ounce of the emotional strength expected of a 24-year veteran of the U.S. military, broke down for the first time that I had ever seen. To be the cause of the only tears I ever saw fall from his eyes is not easy to live with. To hear him... the man who stood tallest in my life from the day I was born, my archetype of strength, my father... to hear him say that because of me he felt his backbone has been ripped out from behind him, feels like patricide. It was then that I wondered why God had let me live; why had God not just lifted me to Himself when I had found the truth? Why did I have to hurt my family so much, and practically eschew the ones who loved me more than anyone else?
The answer was sought and found in God's word. After accepting Him, it is my duty to work for Him and walk His path. For now, my loss was to be comforted by His words found in Mark 10:29-30:
"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, and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life."
But there was more. I have to inform my parents of the Truth, no matter how painful, because they need to be saved. Not just them, but I also have friends that need to be saved. At least billions upon billions of souls in this world need to be saved. Can I do these things? Can my parents be saved, even pulled from Satan's trap itself? Am I really supposed to spread the message to the ends of the earth?
Paul says in Philippians 4:13 that I can do these things through God. He tells me in II Timothy 2:25-26 that I must gently instruct everyone, even my parents, in hopes that they will be saved from the trap of the devil. And Christ Himself informs his apostles in Matthew 28:19 to make disciples of all nations. Thus, much like Paul in Acts 20:24, my life's meaning is this: to testify to the gospel of God's grace. And in doing so, He comforts me, and gives me fortitude."
It makes me ashamed of my own Christian walk. I struggle to work up the courage to talk to family and friends about Christ, I would much rather have their love and approval. God, please forgive me and grant me the courage to follow you no matter what the cost.
(Thanks to Doug TenNapel for the link.)