Last night, I went to an Infertility Prayer group meeting put on by ladies at our church. There was a woman whose children are grown and whose daughter is experiencing infertility. There was a woman who has never experienced infertility and who has 3 kids of her own. There was a woman who had trouble conceiving before getting pregnant with her son who is now a toddler. There was a woman who is currently experiencing infertility of her own. My husband and I have been experiencing infertility for 3-4 years now.
Three of the five women were not going through infertility themselves. The woman who graciously organized and hosted this event is not currently going through infertility herself. I felt so loved, particularly because there were women who are not currently experiencing infertility who took the time to pray and weep with those of us who are going through it. It was healing and redemptive to be reached out to in this way. I felt like a part of the body of Christ. Romans 12:15 came to my mind: “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.”
How often do we do that? How often in our joy can we remember and participate with those who are weeping? How often in our weeping can we remember and participate with those who are rejoicing? Yet this is the way that Scripture calls us to view our brothers and sisters in Christ. We are invested in each other. We are individuals that collectively comprise the body of Christ!
1 Cor 12:12-27 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. 14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. 21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. 27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. As one body in Christ, my brothers and sisters and I are parts of each other.
If we really viewed one another as part of the same body, we would feel the joys and sorrows of other parts of our body. This perspective would cause us to rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn because in one body “if one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.”
This “one body” is not just any “body,” it is the body of our Beloved Lord...we are the body of our Beloved Lord! I can just imagine how much Jesus is glorified by the servant love of these women who took the time to look around in the body of Christ to which they belong to see where other members of that body might be hurting. I wonder if they realized that they were ministering to Christ Himself.
Matthew 25:31-40 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
This passage tells us that when a member of the body of Christ is served, Christ Himself is served! One way I can see how this works is through marriage. My husband Kristian is away in Alaska for a month on business. Family and friends have reached out to me in this time—inviting me out, mowing our lawn, feeding the fish (because I don’t like touching the bloodworms that the fish likes to eat:)), taking out the trash, checking up on me, and doing all sorts of thoughtful and kind things for me. When I talk to Kristian on the phone, I tell him about these things. He feels loved. These acts of service are directed at me. Kristian is not here to get the direct benefit of these acts of service. However, I am his bride. We are one. Kristian is invested in my well-being. Kristian is honored, loved, and esteemed when our family and friends take care of me, his bride. While this is not a perfect analogy, in a similar way, I belong to Christ. I am His bride, and He is invested in my well being. When someone blesses me, Christ is being honored because I am His!
May I learn to love my brothers and sisters in Christ because I am one with them in Christ and because loving them is loving my Beloved Lord!
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you that I am your bride and a part of your body. Wow, what a privilege! I know I don’t deserve this. Thank you that I get to be one with you because you gave your precious Son who to die for my sin. Thank you, Jesus for your willing sacrifice. Thank you that you love me as your own body! Thank you for these women who took the time to love me and other women in the body who are going through infertility. Please help me to look around at other parts of your body and to love them with sincere love. May I live as if we were all together one body in you! Help me to see the need around me and help me to serve in love. May their pain be mine and their joy be mine. Help me to love and serve them earnestly and wholeheartedly because in loving and serving them, I am loving and serving you! In Jesus’ Name, Amen
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