“The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. ……… If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.” 1 Corinthians12:26
During a recent hospital stay I quickly became aware of the fact that to ensure recovery I had to be vulnerable. I had to reveal things about myself that I had previously considered very private to ensure the medical team had all the information necessary to diagnose and treat me. I also had to trust those taking care of me that they had to perform certain necessary procedures on me, that my personal modesty would normally never allow to happen.
As we walk in our faith there are thing we can do to keep us on the path towards Jesus. We pray, study Scripture and worship Him during a corporate gathering. During this journey we will encounter situations that will reveal the depth and vulnerabilities of our faith and trust in Jesus. When we are spiritually healthy, we can overcome obstacles and even become stronger. However, if we choose to live our faith alone, without other believers walking with us, there is a strong possibility that these struggles will infect our faith and over time may damage our overall spiritual health.
The Holy Spirit brings us through many of life’s troubles and that is God’s gift to us, however we were never meant to be on this faith walk alone. Just before God created Eve to be with Adam, He said “it is not good for man to be alone” (Gen 2:18). During Jesus’ earthly ministry He was rarely alone. He maintained His spiritual connection to the Father but His daily interactions were with men and women who He helped, but who also helped Him get His message across to others. To maintain a healthy spiritual life we need to be with other believers such as our church family. It is impossible to have an intimate relationship with every believer we encounter but it is possible, and necessary, to build a bonding relationship with at least one or two people. This person should be someone we can be vulnerable with as we share our inner most struggles. This person should be willing to offer sincere advice to help us battle through the challenging times. This is a person, who is not their spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend, is someone we can call anytime day or night to talk with about our faith.
We may not feel comfortable sharing with the whole church family, but they can still contribute to our journey. One of the medical procedures I faced this week was having a catheter inserted on my upper leg to allow constant injections of medicine to directly attack the source of pain. The doctor made small talk with me and then, without notice , threw up my hospital gown leaving me exposed as a baby entering this world. I was embarrassed and stared at the ceiling as he worked. At one point I lowered my gaze and noticed there were at least a dozen people watching him work. I made eye contact with a young man, who waved at me and said “Hi I’m Dave, I’m a Dalhousie student”. My first thought was “who is not watching this show’. I did figure out that he was a student in some medical field and was learning by watching. His presence also reminded about our individual roles with the MCF. Our interaction with people in the MCF is limited to observation, but that does not mean we can’t contribute to the spiritual health of other members. From time to time, we receive prayer requests and they are shared with the body. If we choose to pray alongside other members we contribute. Also, we can grow. When we see the vulnerable position some place themselves in when asking for prayer, we may be willing to ask others to pray for us. We may be like Dave, watching so as to be prepared to help one another somewhere down the line.
God designed us to be with others. We honour Him and each other when they are included in our spiritual walk. We should be wise about what we share. We do need to partner with a mature follower to address the faith issues that tear at our souls. If you don’t have such a partner, pray asking God to reveal a name and then go speak with that person. Remember you must also be willing to hear their joys and struggles. Being vulnerable is humbling and on our spiritual journey it can be very rewarding.