Once Upon A Ligament
It was a beautiful day…but I sat in a doctor’s office—the fourth such visit since the “knee incident”. 1 An orthopedist entered, frowning at the MRI image in his hand. “Bad news. The ACL in your right knee is completely severed.” 2 Then I frowned.
Later I met a surgeon and heard the gory details of cutting, drilling and screwing, including a lovely description of the months of rehab and “rigorous” physical therapy that would follow. But I kept reminding myself, “I’m very blessed, I’m very blessed…”
The ACL is a small ligament. But without it, the knee is unstable and the leg becomes weak, which strains the other leg. The rest of the body now must work harder to maintain balance and prevent falling. Turns out that little ACL is really important.
Each in the Body of Christ is indispensable.
Paul used that once as an analogy for the Body of Christ: Parts of the body that seem weaker are indispensable…If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the Body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 3
Are each of us truly indispensable in the Body of Christ? We often think only of certain people that way—pastors, preachers, ministers, priests, missionaries, elders and teachers. And all the while, a small voice lies, “You are not like them. You are not important.”
Sometimes we see only our weaknesses instead of our strengths, and cling only to our fears instead of our calling. We convince ourselves that we are the least of all. And yet, though we may be weak, we are indispensable. Though we may be unknown to the world, Jesus knows our name.
The Body of Christ is held together by all.
The gatekeeper opens the gate for [the good shepherd], and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out…His sheep follow him because they know his voice…I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me. 4
A friend in Singapore once told me, An exit is a new entrance to exciting adventures when you are led by the Holy Spirit. I would humbly add, And you will be led, because Jesus is your shepherd. Feel special? You should, for you are important to the King and indispensable to us all.
From [Christ] the whole Body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. 5
Chuck Graham is Founder and Executive Director of Ciloa, an international ministry devoted to encouraging others and teaching them how to encourage one another. He is also an author and speaker. Chuck and his wife, Beverly, live in Lawrenceville, Georgia, USA. Learn more about Chuck and Ciloa at www.Ciloa.org.
Footnotes: (1) On arriving in Oklahoma City, OK, in 2009, my knee popped out of socket as I stood to exit the plane. I usually say I was defending a little old lady from terrorists. Sounds better than, “I stood up in a plane.” (2) Anterior Cruciate Ligament. (3) Read 1 Corinthians 12:22,26-27, emphasis added. (4) Read John 10:3,4b,14. (5) Read Ephesians 4:16, emphasis added.
Pictures: Banner: Self-Doubt, Getty Images. 1st: ACL Brace by mkitina4, Getty Images. 2nd: Not Good Enough, Shutterstock. 3rd: Connected for a Purpose, MinTools.com.