When I was a child, I was fascinated with my thumb. I sucked it almost constantly for comfort from the imagined problems in my life. At least until I was 5. That was when my dad threatened to make me sleep with the chickens if I didn’t stop. Needless to say, I had a few teary nights, but I stopped. His ploy worked! As I grew older, my thumb wasn’t nearly as important. It got to where I didn’t even pay it much mind unless I had a cut from peeling vegetables or a hangnail. Other than that, my thumb didn’t serve a very important purpose in my life. I just accepted it as it was and life went on. But this past week, something happened. I don’t know how, but somehow, someway, I sprained it and found out just how important that two-and-a-half-inch digit is, and I miss it greatly as a fully functioning part of my body.
Every move I made had my body screaming out… not just my thumb, but my other fingers, my wrist, my arm, the rest of my hand. My other hand reached out to caress the suffering part of my body. I tried to plan my movements so that my poor little thumb would not have to endure any more pain.
Realizing how important my thumb is gave me new insight to 1 Corinthians 12, where it talks about the members of the Body of Christ needing each other.
14 Yes, the body has many parts, not just one part. 15 If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And what would you think if you heard an ear say, “I am not part of the body because I am only an ear and not an eye”? Would that make it any less a part of the body? 17 Suppose the whole body were an eye—then how would you hear? Or if your whole body were just one big ear, how could you smell anything?
18 But that isn’t the way God has made us. He has made many parts for our bodies and has put each part just where he wants it. 19 What a strange thing a body would be if it had only one part! 20 So he has made many parts, but still there is only one body.
21 The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.” (taken from the Living Bible)
Pain in my thumb and that verse has helped me to realize an important spiritual truth…. Denomination does not matter… God needs all of us to accomplish His purposes and we are all part of His Body.
He has a plan for the Baptists, as he does for the Methodists and the Pentecostals. His plan also includes Presbyterians, Lutherans, Episcopalians, Catholics, and non-denominationals. And don’t forget… the Amish, Mennonites, Messianic Jews, and all others that profess Jesus as Lord. Although we are many, we are one and He uses each of our groups as He pleases. We are all brothers and sisters because of the sacrifice Jesus made on our behalf.
If one part hurts, we all hurt, just like my thumb has my whole body feeling pain. Don’t you dare look down on any other part of the Lord’s body because He has included it for His own divine purpose.
May we all help fulfill Jesus’s prayer in John 17:21 (The Living Bible): “My prayer for all of them is that they will be of one heart and mind, just as you and I are, Father—that just as you are in me and I am in you, so they will be in us, and the world will believe you sent me.”
We all truly are part of His body and we do need one another. May His will be done in our lives.