Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Littlest Member. . .

How important is the little toe?

You can ask my youngest daughter who took a tumble down a narrow set of stairs in England and broke her little toe.  That "littlest member" gave her quite a bit of discomfort and pain as she continued her sight-seeing throughout England and Italy.

I don't have to ask her, though.  I have a little toe which has a tight tendon.  The little toe likes to pull down toward my foot.  Sometimes it makes it very uncomfortable to wear shoes.  Because it is a chronic condition, it has made the tendons in my calf tight, even resulting in some very painful cramps.

The tightening of the tendons in my calf has led to some tightening in the tendons of my lower back, resulting in some back soreness.  One thing has led to another all the way up my back.  That toe is a little thing, but it is not alone.  It is connected to the rest of me and affects how the rest of my body moves and operates.

The Scriptures tell us that each of us is part of the body of Christ.  We are "the body of Christ, and members in particular," (1 Corinthians 12:27.)  Each of us has a particular purpose and reason for existing in the body.  And just as our individual body parts each send messages to the brain, we each individually communicate with Christ our Head separate from the other members of the body.

Yet, we are joined together in a beautiful and mysterious union through the Spirit of Christ our Lord.  Our lives, our choices, our actions affect the lives of those other members in the body of Christ in ways we may not be able to understand until we reach Heaven.  Just as my little toe has an influence on my back.  "And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it," (I Corinthians 12:26.) 

 When we are tempted to feel alone, to believe the Lord has left us isolated in this world, let us instead choose to believe we are part of a huge and glorious body of believers.  But more than that, let us take action in our belief.

If we are tempted to despair, let us pray for believers in this body who may also be facing that same temptation that they will know the Lord's encouragement and strengthening.  If we are tempted to sadness, let us pray for believers who may be facing the same temptation that they may know the Lord's joy and peace.  There is  not a temptation that faces us that we cannot turn into a prayer for someone else in the body of Christ.  We don't have to know their names because the Lord Jesus knows their names, He will take care of the rest.

Let us take advantage of all the slings and arrows of this world hurled at us to lift a shield of prayer for others perhaps on the other side of the world facing the same -- or even worse -- temptation.  Let us use the enemy's weapons of destruction as our weapons of good as we remember we are "not one member, but many," (1 Corinthians 12:14.)

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