When my youngest daughter was under two, we had a baby gate from the living room to the master bedroom where the laundry and an exterior door were. One day in a hurry to get something done, I fell over the gate. The force with which I fell, and how I caught myself left my arm folded at ninty degrees, completely twisted backwards and upward. My elbow was dislocated. At the hospital they were able to snap it back into place and just put my arm in a sling for a while. I also went to therapy and lost some of the range of motion, although not too much. It was a very painful experience.
I thought about how this is also a picture of the body of Christ. It is not a baby gate that stands in our way, but our comparisons, insecurities, and unwillingness to surrender that get us dislocated. We end up trying to do things that we were not made to do, or unwilling to do what we are suppose to do; the whole body suffers because of it.
God designed each of us with a specific purpose and role in mind. He places us where we are suppose to be and where we an have the greatest impact. Yet sometimes, we force ourselves into something else. We buck up against what He has called us to do because we want to do more or something different, or because we don’t feel like we are worthy to do what He has called us to. We are basically saying God made a mistake with us.
Besides the obvious, that God doesn’t make mistakes, there is another problem with this way of thinking and actions. We are all made to fit together in one body.
For just as the body is one but has many parts; and all the parts of the body, though many, constitute one body; so it is with the Messiah. For it was by one Spirit that we were all immersed into one body, whether Jews or Gentiles, slaves or free; and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. For indeed the body is not one part but many. If the foot says, “I’m not a hand, so I’m not part of the body,” that doesn’t make it stop being part of the body. And if the ear says, “I’m not an eye, so I’m not part of the body,” that doesn’t make it stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, how could it hear? If it were all hearing, how could it smell? But as it is, God arranged each of the parts in the body exactly as he wanted them. Now if they were all just one part, where would the body be? But as it is, there are indeed many parts, yet just one body. So the eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you”; or the head to the feet, “I don’t need you.” On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be less important turn out to be all the more necessary; and upon body parts which we consider less dignified we bestow greater dignity; and the parts that aren’t attractive are the ones we make as attractive as we can, while our attractive parts have no need for such treatment. Indeed, God has put the body together in such a way that he gives greater dignity to the parts that lack it, So that there will be no disagreements within the body, but rather all the parts will be equally concerned for all the others. Thus if one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; and if one part is honored, all the parts share its happiness I Corinthians 12:12-26
When we are not where we belong, parts of the body become dislocated. Other parts can not work as effectively because we are not doing our part. Or worse when we are trying to do things we were not called to dot only are we , because not only are we impacting the area that we are suppose to be, we causing problems in another area, and likely creating a spiral effect because someone else can’t be doing their part either because we are in the way.
Although painful, the only way to fix the problems in the body of Christ, is for each person to allow God to put them back in their place. It can be a quick process if we surrender, but it may take some time for us to function properly again. We are going to have to get into the word and surrender our gifts and talents to the area we are called to operate in, learning to be just who God called us to be. When we do what God meant for us to do, we will find that there really is a natural fit because we are where we were designed to be.