Church splits. Family feuds. Divorce. They all come with the same distorted echoes: “If you aren’t with us … get out!” We’ve all heard these, or similar words. Maybe we have even been guilty of saying them to someone. If we haven’t, no doubt we have thought them. Yet if we are truly honest with ourselves, such statements are not our true feelings. Harsh retorts are really only distorted echoes of our true thoughts. They become distorted after ricocheting off the brick-like walls that we build around ourselves. We build them because we don’t want to be hurt any more, or we think we no longer need another person.
Behind those walls though is our heart of hearts. And what we are really saying in our heart of hearts is quite different. It is like a voice without a mouth to say, “Please don’t go. You are my sense of balance — and I can’t make it without you. I have already been hurt enough.” Not wanting others to see the real us, though, we shove our chin up a proud notch and quickly say instead, “Go on. Get out. You can be replaced.” But can any of us truly be replaced?
Scripture reveals the truth. “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. [For] as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another” Romans 12:3-5.
In God’s seemingly strange plan we are all members of another. However, how often a strong arm, so solidly firm with muscles, says, “I can get along without you. This is my big chance. I have finally made it. I’m important — and I don’t need you.” But can we make it alone? Can a right arm, or a big toe, or any other part of a body be removed — or be replaced — without severe damage being done? From where will it get its flow of blood? From where will its nerves get directions? From where will it draw strength? Sure, there are artificial limbs which look pretty normal to the eye. But they don’t have feeling. They don’t hurt when you hurt. They don’t bleed.
The strength that the strong arm has been receiving in the past — the strength that has made it so attractive and desirable — all along has been coming from other members in the body. Behind the scenes when, unknowingly, its enemy was severely attacking, another seemingly insignificant part of the body was sending power requests to the “Power Source“, which returned back to that member the needed strength to thwart attacks that came against it. That strong right arm may be able to flex its beautiful muscles. Yet those muscles were gained as a result of the power it received from another part of the body.
Queen Esther, as described in Scripture, is an example of one who could easily have decided that she could make it on her own. She could have said to her uncle, “get out, I don’t need you!” From all outward appearance she had made it to the top — she was queen. But as was proven by the final results, God had placed her in that position for that time — for His purpose. He had not groomed her, given her favor, and elevated her to a high position so she could turn her back on her family and friends and enjoy her success.
In Joseph’s live we seen another great illustration. He could have sent his brothers away. After all, they had hurt him deeply by throwing him into the pit and later selling him as a slave. But he recognized that God had a purpose in it all.
Neither are we born into this world only to live for ourself. We are placed here in God’s sovereign plan. Some are to be a big strong arm to give support and protection — some are to be a little insignificant member who sends power (through ways ordained by God) to another. “God set the members every one of them in the body as it hath pleased him …. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary” I Corinthians 12:18, 21, 22.
Whatever our position in Christ’s body within a church, a family, a marriage — God has carefully placed us there. He unites us to a spouse — a family — a body of believers — and sometimes even for a time to a particular position of leadership. But He does it all solely for His purpose. And His purpose is not that we be ripped and torn apart limb from limb. “…God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another” I Corinthians 12:24, 25.
God’s purposes build and encourage. It Is “The thief [who] cometh not but to kill, and to destroy; [Jesus has] come that [we] might have life, and that [we] might have it more abundantly.” John 10:10.
Life is a cycle. If we rip others apart, or beat and batter their spirit — the cycle will continue — and in the next round it may be us being beaten. But if we cling closely together and “bear one another’s burdens…” the pain caused by the enemy’s “firey darts” will be buffered and more easy to endure. The “thief [who] comes but to kill, and to destroy …” will be defeated.
Beautiful message. Such clarity of thought. I'm finally learning how to express my need for someone, even in the midst of misunderstandings. I have come to identify that storms are there to strengthen love's resolve not tear it apart. The bigger the storm, the greater the love's potential. But sometimes we must labor. The Lord Bless You.