Last week’s post was about putting the puzzle pieces together. I shared why I was so resistant to my wife bringing home a puzzle. After prayer, The Lord showed me that my resistance towards Amy’s puzzle was pure selfishness. He used a puzzle to give me a truer sense of the meaning of family through the word COMMUNITY. Community starts first with the family and is to then radiate outside of the home. The Holy Spirit, not only taught me about community but also showed me that we are God’s puzzle pieces.
WE ARE FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE
Psalms 139:13-14 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
As God’s puzzle pieces, the Bible points out that each of us are unique. I have two little girls and it is amazing how different they are from each other. Our oldest, Emma Grace, has a deep compassion for others and is always ready to extend the hand of friendship. She’s also our artistic one. She enjoys drawing and designing things but when it comes to picking up after herself that is a whole other story. Ella, on the other hand, is our industrious one. I call her daddy’s little helper because she loves to help. Ella often helps me when I’m sorting laundry, washing the cars, making the beds and even shoveling snow. Her sister will help provided you pay her. I guess she’s a business women. As parents, Amy and I do our best to foster their uniqueness and to teach them what the will of God is for their life. We don’t ever want to kill their spirit and how God has made them uniquely different. We don’t need mini clones of ourselves.
All of us are fearfully and wonderfully made by God. We are as different from one another as each of the fingerprints on our hands. It is these differences that make us so special to God and each other. Just imagine what it would be like if all our voices sounded alike. Have you ever had that experience where you hear someone talking and recognize the voice but can’t place who it is? Then, you see the person and in your mind go, oh yea that’s who that voice belongs to. God spared no detail in making us unique, even down to our own voice. What if our eyes were all the same color … If we all grew to be the same height or the shades of our skin were all the same? I think you should have the picture by now. Our uniqueness does not make us better then each other individually. Rather, collectively when we use our uniqueness to compliment each other, we’re awesome.
THE BODY OF CHRIST BEING ONE HAS MANY MEMBERS
There is one Lord and we are his workmanship. Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Before we go any further, we must fully understand and accept that there is only one God and creator of heaven and earth … God the father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. They are one in unity. Just as we are made up of body, soul and spirit, nevertheless we are one. So it is with the body of Christ. We are many members but one body. 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues,a and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines. We are God’s puzzle pieces and like a puzzle each piece plays an intricate role in forming what God intended for the church; which is the body of Christ. Our gifts are not to be used for our own selfish fulfillment but for the purposes of God.
Several months ago I was having a discussion at the dinner table with Amy concerning spiritual gifts. As I recall, Amy was speaking life into me by reminding me of my gift of compassion and my zeal for encouraging others in the things of The Lord. In turn, I was sharing with Amy how wonderful it is to watch her share her gift of teaching with others. At once, Emma Grace, my nine year old, and Ella, her six year old sister, chimed in “What’s my spiritual gift, Daddy!” “Yea, tell me my gift, Daddy.” I can’t began to describe how excited they were to discover their spiritual gifts.
“Emma Grace,” I said, “Your gift is compassion. You have no trouble gravitating towards people who are physically challenged and befriending them. And you love little children. When you see a small child you want to mother them. In fact, you’ll drop your sister like a hot potato to get to a small child.” Emma Grace laughed because she knew that was so true. Amy and I laughed as we reminded ourselves that spiritual gifts do need time and patience to grow. We told Emma Grace that when we named her we didn’t know how fitting that middle name would be for her. Little did we know that she would have an effervescent personality requiring us to show a lot of grace at times. Amy reminds me often that Emma Grace came by it rightfully, meaning me!
My little Ella is petite. She’s a feather weight. But when it comes to her spiritual gift, there is nothing light weight about it … her gift of helping comes shinning right through. Ella is a power keg of energy. In fact, her name has the Hebrew root word El meaning might, strength, and power. We didn’t consider that when naming Ella but God must have known how fitting that name would be for her. Last year we signed her up for gymnastics because she was swinging from and climbing on everything. After her first class, the teacher came out and asked where she had taken gymnastics before. We said that she hadn’t; this was her first time. The teacher laughed and said that’s what Ella told her but she didn’t believer her because she had unbelievable strength for a kid her age and size and just assumed she must have already been training. It’s great for Amy and I to have a daily reminder of our need for God’s strength is our lives.
So their you have it – more of God’s puzzle pieces, “mighty grace” and “mighty strength” neatly packaged in the form of our children. Coincidence? I think not. Ask yourself, have you discovered your spiritual role in God’s puzzle? Do you know what God has gifted you to do for the kingdom? If you have, have you given thanks to a God and are you using it as Christ intended?