Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Many parts, one Body // Testimonies from my India Travels

As I have aged I have come to truly appreciate individuality. In fact I fall rather in love with people being who they were made to be. And I believe our Father does too.

via Jessica on Pinterest

"A tree gives glory to God by being a tree. For in being what God means it to be it is obeying Him." // Thomas Merton

And the Lord said to Moses, See, I have called by name Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom and ability, in understanding and intelligence, and in knowledge, and in all kinds of craftsmanship, To devise skillful works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in bronze, And in cutting of stones for setting, and in carving of wood, to work in all kinds of craftsmanship. And behold, I have appointed with him Aholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan; and to all who are wisehearted I have given wisdom and ability to make all that I have commanded you...
// Exodus 31:1-6 (amp) //

There were nine of us total on the mission trip to India, all very unique people with different backgrounds and in separate stages of life, all with specific skills and passions and each person was on the trip for a reason. Two of the girls on the team had taken ballet for years and that happened to be the perfect blessing for the oldest girl at Impact India. There is no length too great for God to go to. Another girl is a hair-dresser in the States and was able to give all the children at Impact hair cuts before we left. The one man that was on the trip was the father-figure and security all of us young girls needed during our time half way around the world from home. He also did photography throughout the trip and the photos he took will be incredible ministry and advocacy tools. Knowing someone was taking excellent photos on the trip freed me up to focus on quality time with individual children and one-on-one's with my team members, which was what I was meant to do on the trip. There was one girl who tirelessly jumped rope with the children, a girl who patiently kept a stubborn two year old company, a girl who brought her guitar everywhere so that we could teach all the children we met praise songs, and a girl whose sweet and peaceful presence brought comfort to children. Two of the girls stood out as being uniquely suited with both talents and hearts for the special needs children we worked with, which was beautiful to see.

For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked. That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.
// 1 Corinthians 12:14-25 (kjv) //

Among people who are aware of the great need in the world and are burdened to care for the least I hear the most disheartening phrase spoken over and over with urgency, "Just do something!" The Lord has been aware of the needs in the world as long as they have existed, He cares more than we ever can and He has a perfect plan to orchestrate many individuals together to perform His purposes for those in need. If we are so wrapped up in the urgency of the need, we fail to see that He already has a plan in place. If we fail to see His plan, then we frantically rush about making our own plans of how to solve the world's problems. But in the face of such great need and the reality of our limited ability we become discouraged knowing we can't do it all and then comes that phrase, "Just do something!". These words are spoken out of human inability, separation from God's will and, consequently, desperation.

If you take a few steps back from the need you will recognize the nature of our God and the way He goes about things. He is a God of peace, He prepares and equips those He calls, and He calls us to rejoice always (even in the face of great need, because we have a great Christ for that need!). He is not only willing to help the least, but His heart is passionately for them (Isaiah 58). He is able, or can you reasonably say that a God who can make our souls whole cannot provide any physical relief (Mark 2)? He is a God of intricate planning and design, just look at the genealogy of Christ (Matthew 1)! If this willing, able, intricate God has placed His heart for the least within you, you can be sure that He has a specific purpose for you to fulfill, in a precise way and time, with the abilities He has and will give you. He fully intends to do the work that must be done, His Body is a channel for Him to do it. A channel is not any help if it is off trying to do something on its own, it needs to be connected with the proper other pieces that are uniquely suited for their jobs, and it needs to do exactly what it's Master asks of it (just as Jesus only did what the Father was doing).

During my time in India I caught a glimpse of the vastness of the Body, of the intricacy of the members, and of the incredible importance of each member doing exactly what it was made to do. The person who gave $5 toward the cost of my trip, the person who gave $500, the Bible study groups that were praying for our team, the individuals lifting us up for 30min everyday of our trip at 2pm and at 2am (and every half hour in between), each person who sent encouragement or checked in with any member of the team was perfectly timed to our needs in those moments. Are you catching a glimpse of the vastness? If just one of those pieces had not fallen into place any one of my team members or I would not have been able to go on the trip, or we would not have made it through customs (I saw God open doors into the country for us through prayer alone), or been able to minister as specifically and personally to the families in the slums or the children in the homes or the ministry partners we worked with. Each person was called for a seemingly small but specific role in that trip and altogether we were the Body, used as a channel for the rich and free love of God to minister to souls in India.

So, please, don't just do something, do the something that the Lord has called, and will equip, you to do, no matter how small (giving $5) or how impossible (moving forward in faith that I was called to be on the trip to India even though I could not pay for it at all) it appears. For if He is glorified in a tree's obedience to be a tree, how much more must He be glorified in His individual children being exactly who and what He uniquely made them to be?

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