This past weekend, I listened as Chris Caine told us about what happened when she tried skiing for the first time. She ended up in the hospital with a severely broken leg. It was during this time that she learned about a body part she did not know she had.This body part is the anterior cruciate ligament, otherwise known as the ACL. The ACL is just a tiny little ligament but it serves a very important purpose. It helps connect the tibia to the femur and stabilizes your knee. I did not know I had this body part. Did you?
I will take Chris at her word and say that a torn ACL is extremely painful and causes a great deal of difficulty when you attempt to stand or walk on the affected leg. It is just a very small part of the body but when it is not functioning correctly, it causes the body a great deal of trouble.
So exactly how does this apply to the Body of Christ? Well the Bible tells us that God has placed us within the Body of Christ as He sees fit. We don't place ourselves but do you know what? We like to get out of place. We look at someone else and think, "I'd like to do that!" While we may not always admit it, I suspect that most if not all of us secretly would love to be up front, have throngs of people buying our latest song on iTunes, lining up to buy our latest book or paying money to see us perform. We long to do something amazing. Even if we are shy, deep down inside we long to be noticed.
What happens to the body when a part is out of place? What happens when a body part is not functioning correctly? We often become discontented because we think we are such a small part in the Body of Christ. If we can't be the mouth... well... we don't want to be anything at all!
Like Chris, I learned first hand how important the small parts are within the physical body. I learned exactly how important each cell is when I had chemotherapy three years ago. I wrote about this here at CB back in 2008 but I think it is something worth writing about again.
One of the problems with combating cancer is that the cells are your own cells. To be sure they have mutated but still, the body does not recognize these rebel cells as invaders. Cancer cells are fast growing cells so the purpose of chemotherapy is to seek out and destroy fast growing cells. The problem is, the chemo drugs can't tell the difference between a healthy cell and a cancer cell so it attacks them all. Gulp!
You have a lot of fast growing cells in your body; hair follicles, nails, skin, the lining of your stomach and your taste buds just to name a few. Most of us are aware that some chemo drugs cause hair loss. This is because the hair follicles are destroyed. What a lot of people do not know is that often chemo patients lose their sense of taste to some degree. Others have a strange metallic taste in their mouth. I remember I could not drink water unless it was mixed with something. It tasted terrible! I would choke on it for it tasted like I was drinking soap. Ugh!
While I did not get that metallic taste in my mouth, my sense of taste was impaired and I didn't even know it. I knew I seemed to be eating less and I didn't have a lot of interest in food once I started eating it but I attributed that to being less active and simply not being hungry but being very tired. I firmly believed this until about a month after my last chemo infusion. I sat down to dinner and suddenly I couldn't shovel food into my mouth fast enough. Oh, I had never tasted such wonderful food. I exclaimed about it over and over again. Oh, it was sooooooooo good! My family chuckled. There was nothing wrong with the food. They agreed it was good but wasn't I overreacting a bit? Humph, they could say what they liked but in the meantime, I was going to turn my attention to this exquisite feast.
It wasn't until later that it occurred to us what had happened. I had apparently lost my sense of taste and hadn't realized it. Now, I had new taste buds and they were definitely on the job. Of course, now I no longer forgot to eat and as my diet improved, so did my health. The entire body reaped the benefits when my taste buds were during their job.
Now they weren't the eye, the foot or the hand and they are pretty tiny. However, when they weren't there to do their job, it had an impact on my entire body. I didn't need them to be the eye, the foot or the hand. I needed them to be what they were designed to be. I needed them to be taste buds.
There are a lot of people sitting around dreaming of "big stuff". They are so busy dreaming about "big stuff" that they don't function in the place God has placed them. While they are waiting for the opportunity to do something "big", the Body suffers, unable to work efficiently. If you are the ACL or even a taste bud, be the very best one you can be and do your job with a joyful heart. Only God can fully see and understand the impact you are making for Him... even when you think you are not. You might be very surprised one day. In fact, I suspect that you will be surprised one day to discover the impact you made in this world simply because you told Christ you would do whatever He wanted you to do and be whoever He wanted you to be.
I did enjoy your post. So true. How much we need each other in the Body of Christ! Even in an on-line setting such as this one, the Body can function in such a way as to help the hurting, reach out to the lonely, depressed, and unwanted, and we should let others know that we care about them and are praying for them. What you went through was very traumatic. We are to bear one another's burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ (see Galatians 6:2) and that law is love, a love that lets no one feel unwanted or useless. You are definitely very valuable and being used by God. The Lord bless you.
Nope! I didn't know about that body part until you told me about it. If only we could immediately realise which part we are to play in the body of Christ then the body would be 100% efficient. It would save a lot of pain!