Body of Christ by
I always thought that being forty something was going to be better than being thirty something. But now that I’m there, I’m not quite sure. Being 40+ brings a whole new set of problems, worries and concerns. Among them are our teens learning to drive, our aunts, uncles and grandparents are dying, our parents are aging, new financial concerns as our kids approach college age, the list goes on & on… am I ever going to get to retire? You get the idea. In the middle of it all I start to wonder if life will ever be fun again. If I can ever do anything I want to do when I want to do it. I think this must be what they call the mid-life crisis.
Having said all of that, let me also say that even though this life of mine isn’t what I dreamed it would be by this age, I give thanks to my Lord everyday for how richly He blesses me. Even if I’d had an argument with one of my children or my husband I give thanks that they are part of my life. I give thanks that I have a bed to crawl into every night and a full stomach to boot. I feel as though after I wake up in the morning and praise my God for another day and another opportunity to figure this life out, I can face the world with a smile even if life isn’t what I expected. And as I try to figure this life out familiar phrases come to mind. I know the phrases are true and I even think I understand them, but God revealed them to me with greater depth the other day. Let me explain.
The phrases I’m talking about are probably familiar ones to you also: God can use you right where you are; we are the Body of Christ. Some days I wonder how God is going to use me. Is He using me yet or is my turn later? Am I pleasing Him? Am I doing the right things, saying the right prayers? Am I getting through to my kids? I sometimes wonder if I love my family enough. Do I care for their emotions, care for them spiritually? These of course are all rhetorical questions. We do the best we can every day.
Well God truly works mysteriously because He revealed some things to me the other day that really surprised me. In a good way. I was praying (on the way to work-God doesn’t care where) for God to search my heart and reveal to me matters that I needed to have revealed. WOW – great prayer right? This prayer was on my heart because of a song I had just heard. It had lyrics asking God to search the songwriter’s heart and set him free with His truths. The ‘search’ and ‘free’ words were very important to me as I search for this un-named thing a mid 40’s person searches for. As I prayed God revealed how each member of my family was specifically a blessing to me and more importantly how this makes us, my own family, a part of the Body of Christ. Myself included. A small family unit being the Body of Christ to each other. He is using me in very simple ways to bless them just as they are blessing me. For me, it was very revealing.
I’ll share the ways in which each member of my family is part of the Body of Christ to me. This all came to me in a flash and I’ve been reveling in it ever since. First, my son, who many of you know is mentally retarded, has taught me how to be humble. In a huge way. This is a very big lesson and let me add, not a fun one at all. But a very important one. My daughter, so pure at heart. She quotes scripture to me. She is very good at practicing what she learns in God’s word and she keeps me on the straight & narrow path. Katy and I realize that living as a Christian should is not always easy, but is it always right. Another life lesson. She is a rare jewel in the King’s crown and I’m very proud of her. My husband has taught me not to want for things. This might sound typical of husbands but there is a valuable lesson here. Live within your means and stop bellyaching for ‘stuff’. Now this too is a very hard lesson but how right it is. Even though we have our differences, he too is a blessing to me. All these lessons are gifts that God has given to me. And the people He brought into my life to teach them to me – are gifts. Think about it. Then there is my grandma. Through her death, she has taught me to find happiness in every situation. She never complained about anything and loved life right to the last breath. The last thing she said to me was “It’s gonna be great!” WOW – I want that to be the last thing I say too. I replied “yea, grandma, it’s gonna be great, I know”. My father and my boss at work both have taught me to grow from my mistakes. Even though we fail at something, there is always tomorrow to try again. Isn’t that just like God? His grace is new every morning. Another blessing for me!
All around us is the Body of Christ. Now I see it in a whole new way. I always imagined it as something bigger than 1 person or 1 family, but now I realize that each one of us, even my son with mental retardation is the Body of Christ. Even I, even though I may doubt how God uses me in His Kingdom, even I am the Body of Christ.
May you reveal to others as you have to me all the many ways the Body of Christ is at work all around us. And how each one of us is part of that Body whether we recognize it or not. Even when we feel inadequate to serve you Lord, we ARE serving you. People can see Jesus in us even when we are not aware of it. Search our hearts and set us free with Your truths Lord. Help us to be witnesses to You and to glorify You in all we do.
We love you Lord Jesus! Amen.
For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members of one another.
1 Corinthians 12:12
For just as the body is one and has many members, all the members of the body, though many are one body, so it is with Christ.
I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all. But each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift.