This is the other devotional that I shared in Romania last year- just some food for thought!
1 Corinthians 12: 12-27
Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by[a] one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. 15 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body. 21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. 27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.
I have heard many versions of this devotional and just wanted to share several thoughts with you here in Romania. Life in many ways is like a puzzle. We only look at the pieces individually and really cannot see the big picture. However, when everything is put together- each piece one at a time, interconnecting with others then at the end we have this magnificent picture created by an artist. Our lives are often like that- we have great moments, bad moments, God moments, moments of despair where we ask why, moments where we are overjoyed- we do not understand how they all fit together but they do and at the end God has created something wonderful out of our lives. I can think of specific times in my life that I have wondered what was going on. Case in point my divorce> it was not a great time but God took that period and made me a better father and in the long run I am now married to a wonderful Christian woman. What looked like an ugly puzzle piece fit into another and made a great part of the picture. Of course the puzzle is not finished until that last piece is placed but then we can step back and look at the picture and then understand how it all came together. The completed picture is exactly what God intended.
Going back to our bible verse we can see that just as the writer described us as being parts of the body we can also be compared to being pieces of a puzzle. Each puzzle piece has protrusions or indentations. The protrusions can represent our strengths (things like our gifts, talents and abilities). They stand out. The indentations can represent our weaknesses (faults, limitations, shortcomings). The beautiful thing is that the pieces complement each other. Where my weaknesses are then another’s strengths will fit in. My talent may fit is where someone else has a limitation. Just as each piece of a puzzle is important then so is each one of us as members of the body of Christ. We can minister and aid other members when need be. They can lift us up when needed. In a nutshell when a piece of the puzzle is missing it is obvious that the picture is incomplete and broken. The same goes for us- each of us are part of the picture. We need to plug in, fit in – whatever as part of the body. We were created to be part of God’s picture/his plan.
In closing let’s look at this team. We are 11 unique individuals that God called together for this time. It is no mistake who is on this team- each of us was called for a specific reason; each of us has special gifts that we are bringing to the team. Individually we could come here but our effectiveness would not be as great. Together we were sent to make an impact and to make a difference. Back home, our church family is looking at a big picture of the Romania Team but it took eleven individual pieces to bring that picture together. We have the privilege of being a part of God’s big picture on this trip. A beautiful picture that he has put together.