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Need some practical ways to live following God’s heart?  Read Romans 12 in The Message.  I love it!  Today I was reading slowly and really only got through the first six verses or so.  I was trying to digest what each verse was really saying and I had a new realization.  Now it may not be new to you but it’s worth pondering anyway.

The section that really got me today was this one, verses 4-5:

In this way we are like the various parts of a human body. Each part gets its meaning from the body as a whole, not the other way around. The body we’re talking about is Christ’s body of chosen people. Each of us finds our meaning and function as a part of his body. But as a chopped-off finger or cut-off toe we wouldn’t amount to much, would we?

So since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvelously functioning parts in Christ’s body, let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren’t.

We who follow Jesus, who profess to be God’s children, are all part of His body manifested on earth – the Church.  When we all play our parts, the beauty of the Church makes the world gasp.  When we act like we’re not part of the body, that we don’t need the other parts of the body, that our task is more important than another part of the body, or try to live detached from the body the Church’s work suffers and the world shakes its head.

I think this is a big part of the reason why my family has felt so weird during this time of transition without a church family.  The first few weeks we thought it would be fun to visit a different church every week but that got old pretty quick.  The need to belong and contribute began to gnaw at us from the inside of our hearts.  Now it makes sense to me!  Right now we’re body parts just laying around, apart from the whole.

I was trying to figure out why I missed the way I served at our old church so much and longed for it so.  At first I thought maybe I was needing attention or wanted to be up front – some sort of prideful reason – but I think it really is because God made me to be a voice of worship and right now I’m not doing what I was made for.  I wonder if sometimes God morphs us from one part to another, giving us a time to do one task and then changing us a little to do something else that’s needed.  Maybe, but so far nothing has made me feel as centered and “right where I’m supposed to be” as leading others in music and worship, reading God’s Word aloud, offering prayers of praise to Him.  I feel like the Little Mermaid’s voice caught in a shell and apart from her body, floating around, not enveloped by the rest of the body where I belong.

I know that will change soon.  I don’t know if God will use me as a voice in the next body where we live and serve, but I know I will be attached and feel fulfilled and at home.  Maybe I’ll be a lap to hold children, maybe hands to tangibly serve and do physical labor, maybe just a shoulder and ear for a while.  I’ll be whatever part He wants me to be, but I want desperately to be in place and active again.

Thank you, God, for Your Word and opening my eyes to more of what it means!  It helps make sense of the feelings I’ve been having.  No wonder it’s so  important for all believers to participate in a church, serve, and do their part.  There’s no other way to really live, thrive, and be IN Christ.

What do you think?  What body part are you?  What jobs has God made you suited for?  Do you belong to a church family so that you can be attached to Christ’s body and do what you were made to do?

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