“From Him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” (Ephesians 4:16)
Matt Stutzman was born without arms, but on the archery range he recently broke the Guinness World Record for the longest shot on target at 230 yards–14 yards further than the last one set by a man who had both arms. And he has earned a spot on the 2012 US Paralympic Team.
He says in an article by MSNBC, “I believe how I shoot is an advantage, because I use my leg –and my leg is the strongest part of my body.”
When we live with the frustrations of daily pain and all the side effects of medications, we often feel weak in all ways. When we have a little bit of strength we often use it up quickly trying to catch up on the things we have let go while we were in pain. If we are lucky, we may have a little bit left for our loved ones, but rarely any just for ourselves. And where does God fit into all of this? Does He ever get our best? Or just our leftovers?
From Jesus, the entire church body, meaning all believers, not just your church, are joined and held together. Each person and their gifts is part of what helps the family of Christ. And I believe one of the best ways we can give the part of us that makes the most difference is the part of us that is refined through the fire of our suffering.
For example, when you are asked to volunteer at the church by formatting their newsletter because you are good on a computer, that may be something you consider. But could your insight into a family who is suffering silently be a greater gift, as you explain to church staff how to more effectively outreach to these families?
Matt said above, “I believe how I shoot is an advantage, because I use my leg –and my leg is the strongest part of my body.” You too have an “advantage” in how you show love to others, because you can use the strongest part of your body, your spirit, your love. And the odds are that “strongest part” now exists because there were parts of your life–or your body–that were forced into becoming weak for God’s glory.
Prayer: Lord, You know I long to find something in my pain that gives it a purpose, where I can see You making a difference through it. I turn my dreams and my passions over to You to help form me into the person You desire me to be. Please send me a hint on how and where you want me to use the parts of my life that are strong–because You have made them be strong.
Note: I first started writing this devotion when I heard of Matt’s story, only to later discover he is a Christian who speaks to groups regularly too! You can watch more about Matt’s story on CBN here: (If you don’t see a video click here
About the Author:
Lisa Copen is an author, speaker, and the founder of Rest Ministries which serves the chronically ill. She lives in San Diego with her husband and 8-year-old son. She is currently writing a book for Christian moms who live with chronic illness. If you are interested in sharing your stories, feedback and confessions for the book, visit her Facebook page at http://MomWithIllness.com .
You can now read this on your Kindle. Find out more at http://TodaysDevotionOnKindle.com
What areas do you see yourself as being strong in because you were somewhat “forced” to be strong in them, since other parts became weak? How do you use them for God’s glory and unity in the body of Christ? If you don’t feel you do, will you pray the prayer above with us for God to reveal His desires for your life?