Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Body of Christ

I am so thankful for the body of Christ! 

As a result of the current situation with our home back in Spangle, we are getting to experience the global body of Christ in a profoundly personal way. (Recap: Our house was flooded again at the end of January, resulting in the need for our renters to move out, which of course means a loss of rental income for us, in addition to the need to deal with insurance, banks, and reconstruction from across the ocean in a different time zone!)

Our church body in France is walking with us through moments of disappointment, frustration, repentance, and grief. They have taken the time to listen, to care, and to share their wisdom.Yesterday morning, when I was particularly struggling, they surrounded me, laid hands on me, prayed for me, and hugged me. They have counseled us and encouraged us. They are ministering to our emotional and spiritual needs.They are Grace and Truth in the flesh! And through their amazing kindness I experience the love of my savior.

Meanwhile, our church body back in the States is supporting us in very practical ways. We have friends who are helping to select flooring, who are taking care of some of  our personal affects, and who have enlisted the help of their small group to get the house ready to re-rent or to sell. They have offered to do the nitty gritty manual labor that just needs to be done in order to spare us the expense of making a trip home to do it all ourselves. They are ministering to our physical needs. They are the very hands and feet of Christ. And through their amazing kindness I experience the love of my savior.

I have thanked God for this flood--if Betsy ten Boom can thank God for the fleas in a concentration camp, then I figure I can thank God for a flood. But more often, I have thanked God for the evidence of His care for us in the midst of this difficult situation. A French woman who wrote a book about her experience with cancer said this: "Jesus did not come to set us free from suffering. He came, instead, to fill our suffering with His presence." I have indeed seen the Lord fill this challenging time with His presence.

Oh my dear brothers and sisters in Christ, be encouraged! The words that you say and things that you do in the name of Jesus are evidence of the Kingdom of God on earth. They are so much more than "random acts of kindness." You, yes YOU,  are a living, breathing answer to the prayer, "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on EARTH as it is in Heaven."

BE the body of Christ today--it is not just your privilege (though it is a great privilege), it is your highest calling.

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