Realizing Our Purpose
I recently found myself sitting in a nail salon eagerly waiting my turn to receive my mani-pedi. I looked down at my fingernails and, in an odd moment of mindfulness, I began to meditate on my fingernails!
What an odd thing to give importance to... As I sat there, I mostly thought about the purpose of my nails. Why did God choose to place this tough protective protein at the tips of our fingers? I knew it wasn't just so that I could adorn them once in a while to match my outfit. The true realization came when I began to wonder what my fingers would look like if I did not have my nails.
I imagined rough, cut, bruised and battered fingertips. My fingernails do serve a purpose! They take quite a beating sometimes, and I never realized it because my nails are tough enough to absorb the impact they receive on a daily basis, ultimately protecting my softer, delicate fingers.
However small, everything God creates is beautiful and serves a greater purpose. We, as part of the body of Christ, all serve such a purpose on a larger scale. I was unable to internalize this topic until I met a brother from another branch whose testimony of God's relentless love towards him was shown even when he was not in the church.
Our brother in Christ lost his hand and wrist in a terrible workplace accident, and he had to immediately get used to doing everyday tasks with just one hand. In this, he felt frustrated and debilitated. The normal worry-filled questions rolled into his mind, "How will I provide for my family?" and "What am I capable of doing now?" and also, "What can the Lord use me for now with only one hand?"
Our brother had recently returned to church after many years of being away. The loss of his hand made him realize that when one of us is away from the church, the body of Christ is truly hurting. Whether we are a hand, a wrist, a leg, or even a fingernail, we each serve a huge purpose.
Perhaps we are currently making the transition from teenager to emerging adulthood and we're still trying to "figure things out," so we're hesitant when it comes to playing a part in church. Maybe fear to step up into an office or take on any role in your branch paralyzes you and keeps you from moving forward. But, what greater way to make a transition in life than by keeping your focus on our Lord who teaches us that faith is fearless?
We, as young people, can do a lot in the church environment. We can help teach a Sunday school class, plan an outreach event, help during a fundraiser, uplift a brother or sister, and even help clean the church building.
Trust me when I say that your work is definitely needed in the body of Christ. It may seem small — like a fingernail — but it can make an enormous difference that you may not realize.
Take a moment to reflect on 1 Cor. 12:27, "Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular."
And Ephesians 2:10, "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."
Every single one of us has a tremendous value. Instead of stressing over discovering what role we should play within the body of Christ — which I tend to do — we should be stepping out in faith and moving our feet. A popular contemporary Christian song says,
"I say I'm waiting on you,
Maybe you're waiting on me.
I'm asking for you to move,
But I'm not moving my feet."
If this sounds like a familiar prayer in your life, then stop wondering and move your feet.
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This article has undergone ministry review and approval.