“God Doesn’t Need You” and why I don’t believe it.

Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.

15 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body.

21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty,24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 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.
1 Corinthians 12:13-27

I’ve heard it is many times, as I’ve lamented our not returning to Newark, NJ to work among the inner city poor there.

God doesn’t NEED you.

And I know another person that heard words similar-

Young man, sit down! You are an enthusiast. When God pleases to convert the heathen, he’ll do it without consulting you or me.

That young man, he and I, we don’t believe it.

Not for a minute.

William Carey, who has become known as the Father of Modern Missions, was told to to shut up and sit down.

I’m so glad he didn’t.

And, frankly, I can’t either.

Not with knowing what I know, and seeing what I’ve seen, and knowing that these inner city poor are less than a 15 minute drive from most of us.

Saying that God doesn’t need me, is like saying God doesn’t need the sun to sustain life on the earth.

Granted. He could have designed things differently, so that He didn’t need the sun to sustain life.

BUT HE DIDN’T. IT IS HIS CHOSEN MEANS OF GIVING LIGHT TO THE EARTH.

And as a now-child of the King, and part of the Body of Christ, I have received the mandate to be the light, and to let my light shine before all men, that they may see my good deeds and glorify my Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16)

And if I’m not doing anything different than my neighbor-being kind to those who are easy to be kind to, or befriending those who don’t make me feel too uncomfortable, or welcoming people into my home and my life people who have just as many resources as I do, or not going too far out of my comfort zone, then I’ve got no good deeds to even awaken someone’s attention-much less lead them to glorify my Father in heaven.

God made my hands and feet to be a visible display of HIS hands and feet in the trenches of dirt and heartache, and suffering and need. It’s how He’s chosen to do it, to include us in His Glorious Rescue Mission.

God doesn’t need me.

But He does.

Because I am a part of that beautiful Body of Christ, in which all of the fullness of Christ dwells.

And if I’m not GOING to the margins, to seek and save the lost, if I am not GOING to those who have yet to hear the good news of Jesus’ love, then I’m not obeying the Head. I am a disfunctional part of the Body.

A Body which is His CHOSEN means for making His glory known, CHOSEN to be the vessel through which His redemption plan unfolds, CHOSEN to be the mouthpiece to testify to the truth that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, CHOSEN to be the hands and feet and heart that actually suffers, and strives, and labors to make visible a (now) invisible Savior who suffered and strove and labored to win His rebellious people back to the Father.

God doesn’t need me.

you say,

Oh, but He does.

And He needs you too.

Ann Voskamp communicates these thoughts beautifully here

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The death of grumbling

“Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did….we should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did- and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died. We should not test the Lord, as some of them did-and we’re killed by snakes. And do not grumble, as some of them did- and were killed by the destroying angel.” 1 Corinthians 10:6,8-10

There you have it, ranked up there with sexual immorality and testing the Lord, the sin that brings death is the sin of grumbling…

And to combat the grumbling, I will count the gifts.

The only other alternative is death…
Death of contentment
Death of peace in our home
Death of relationship with my kids
Death of love and romance in my marriage
And most importantly, death of communion with my Father.
There are only two options, either death of all these things,
or the death of grumbling.
So let grumbling die, that abundant life might flourish…

The gift list continues….

70. Long nature walks with kids
71. The wonder of spotting an alligator and many turtles lazing in the sun
72. Little legs learning to walk
73. Little brothers playing like puppies and thinking it’s hysterical
74. Overhearing Trinity belting out songs downstairs
75. Baby fingers always exploring
76. Car rides with the kids and a captive audience to missionary biographies
77. A seven year old’s eagerness to obtain his own Bible so he can read it for himself
78. Backyard forts built by my own little brood plus neighborhood kids
79. The accomplishment of my little five year old shedding her training wheels
80. comraderie formed with my husband over surviving the young years and all that entails
81. The words ” I love you, Mommy”
82. Knowing the grace associated with those words, because that day I didn’t deserved to be loved as a mommy.
83. Little hands trying to be helpful
84. The community of believers who rally around
85. Learning to laugh over the ridiculously hard things, instead of cry over them
86. The physical act of laughing
87. Green eggs and green grits to celebrate St. Patricks day
88. The life and example of St. Patrick
89. Neighbors who love and enjoy our kids despite the noise level and mess level of our yard
90. Korean women bustling around the church kitchen
91. Running water
92. The ENDLESS playfulness of my two year old
93. Katy-Grace doing the “Ducks Waddling” song
94. The sounds of keys hitting strings which results in beautiful melodies
95. Being part of a homeschool co-op
96. That plans out and executes the science and art projects
97. So I don’t have to
98. A very faithful washing machine and dryer
99. The satisfaction of making your own laundry detergent
100. With little girls who are ever learning how to run their own home one day

Faith Builder

**I recently submitted this to a writing contest about how God grows our faith through pregnancy. Thought I’d post it, too.

Those stable, responsible let-me-tell-you-what-I-know church goers there in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. thought they were doing us a favor by telling this energetic, young, poor newly-wed couple about how to build a family.

“You really should have a couple of years to really get to know each other and build your relationship first.”

And what doesn’t build a relationship more than patience through pregnancy hormone swings, and late night craving runs, and a wife that learns to serve her husband even when she’s dead exhausted.

“You definitely should get yourself financially established first. Children are very expensive.”

And doesn’t the One who knits the priceless form in the womb, who provides the miracle of the eye, or the steadfastness of the beating heart, or the complexity of the human cell also know how to provide some clothing to cover it all and a place to lay the slumbering life, with a few diapers thrown in?

“Your education is crucial, and you should be able to use your abilities in your career before you get tied down with children.”

And the kind of education that lasts forever is the sanctifying one that a new human wholly dependent on you creates, and my abilities poured out to enable another’s to grow and flourish is the closest career I can find to the career path of my Lord, who lived, and died, not for Himself but for others.

Nope, we decided to let God be God. Not that it wasn’t scary. Not that we didn’t know how on earth we would pay for, provide for, give our lives for the gift of a child. But we knew a God, who from the beginning of time, built families in His perfect timing and way. As far as we reckoned, so far He had done a pretty good job so we’d let him keep at it.

His building of ours started five months into this marriage. Exactly two weeks before our health insurance would have covered a pregnancy. Exactly. On. Time.

On time for God to prove that if He decided to give a child to a ramen-eating, don’t-turn-on-the-heat-in-this-borrowed-house-because-we-can’t-afford-the-bill, couple who had just finished pleading with the insurance company that we were just a mere 14 days away from the insurance kick in date, then if they merely learned to plead to Him, He would blow.their.minds.

Hand in hand and heart in heart, we did plead with Him.
And He did blow our minds.

It wasn’t twenty minutes before the phone rang.

And on the other line was a job offer that would start 3 months before the due date, which would provide health insurance, including “pre-existing” conditions…..like pregnancies. And deliveries. Which ended up being in a hospital that could have been mistaken for a five star hotel.

And that was just the beginning.

Maternity clothes, crib and pack’n’play, strollers, car seats, clothes, blankets, pacifiers, diapers, more clothes, slings, more diapers (a three month supply!), baby medicines, bottles, breast pumps, baby books, baby toys, gift cards…..

All started streaming in.

We did not pay one dollar towards the needs of this child until he was four months old. We did not purchase one article of clothing for him until he was four years old.

If this God we serve can knit a miracle together in my womb, you better believe He knows how to come up with some diapers for that miracle’s bum.

And He knows how to breath faith into His children who, (even nervously) let HIM be the builder of the family.

How’s that for a response to those responsible, wise words which counseled against our first-born’s existence.