Sunday, February 28, 2010
Members in Particular
"Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. (I Corinthians 12:27)
"Members" means I'm part of a group, but "particular" says I'm one of a kind.
Sometimes one is more comforting to me than the other. I don't know about you, but I like the idea of being part of something. Evidently God is comfortable with a group mentality, too, since He chose to characterize His people as a family (Eph. 3:14-15), and even more intricately, as a body. As believers, you and I are "blood kin," as they say in Kentucky, where both my father and mother were raised. In our case, however, the Blood happens to be Divine. And through the many years of my Christian life, this bond I share with my brothers and sisters in Christ has been a buoy in the storms of life, helping me, at times, to stay afloat, as it were. I agree with George Swinnock, 1600's Puritan preacher, who said, "Satan watches for those vessels that sail without a convoy." And this bond transcends gender, race, nationality, denomination...and disposition!
On the other hand, however, there have been even more occasions in my life when the fact that when God looks at His family, he sees just me, has made the difference between victory and defeat. Not only is our Great Physician a family practitioner, He's a specialist, as well. The One who holds the universe intact is still able to focus His undivided attention on someone as insignificant as I. It isn't group therapy I need, it's private consultation; and when that time comes, "the Doctor is in." Ironically, I have found that when I lose sight of this truth—God's attention and accessibility—I begin to unfairly expect special attention from those around me. Never a good thing.
There is a gospel song that says, "He loves me like I was His only child"; and there is much truth to that. As a mother, I cannot imagine not having any one of my four children; but, at the same time, only one of them would have sufficed to satisfy my maternal heart. I could truthfully say to any one of them, "If I could have had only one child, I would have wanted it to be you."
God sent His own Son away for a time, so that He could bring me to Himself. As far as I'm concerned, He loves all His children, but He loves me "in particular."