Yesterday evening I was playing basketball in a league with some friends. It has been a very disappointing season but fun and good exercise nonetheless. However, as I was running back to prevent an opposing player from scoring, I planted my foot to stop myself and at that moment everything changed.
- I felt a “pop” behind my knee.
- My weight instantly shifted to my right leg and my body began to fall.
- Before even reaching the floor my mind began thinking of the possible injuries I might have sustained and recognized something was wrong.
- Without even realizing it, my hands instinctively went out and rescued me from falling hard (kind of like how we instantly pull back our hands when we touch a hot stove before we even feel pain).
- Once on the ground, my other leg and foot worked together to bring my body and knee to a more neutral position.
- My eyes scanned over the knee, trying to assess the damage.
- My hands came up to hold my knee as the pain began kicking in.
- At this moment, I began feeling the rest of my body coping with the pain, almost as if my body was trying to take on some of the pain load or at least reacting to the pain my knee was feeling.
- My entire body felt uncomfortable and uneasy.
- My eyes and face formed expressions of pain.
- I felt slightly lightheaded and my stomach very uneasy.
- My mouth began communicating to others what happened.
- My brain quickly sent messages for other parts to release adrenalin and natural painkillers to relieve some of the pain.
- And after sitting on the court for a little while, I used my good leg and arms to slide myself off of the court so the basketball game could resume.
Despite the fact that injuries are painful, it’s actually pretty amazing how the body works together so flawlessly. I didn’t have to ask my hands to catch me as I fell. I didn’t have to convince my brain to send adrenalin and endorphins to help with the pain. I didn’t have body parts stubbornly refusing to help out. Everything just worked together perfectly without question or complaint.
This concept of the body working together is common in Scripture (1 Corinthians 12:12-26; Romans 12:4-5; etc) as well as Christ being the head of the body (1 Corinthians 11:3; Ephesians 1:22; 4:15; 5:23; Colossians 1:18; etc). Yet sometimes we, as the individual parts, forget that we are supposed to work together and don’t do as the Head, Christ, has instructed us. The Body of Christ doesn’t need parts who refuse to help or work with others. We shouldn’t have to ask and convince Christians to do “Christian” works. Yet far too often this is exactly what happens.
When someone else is hurting, struggling, or going through a tough time, do we rush to help them and bear their load or do we assume others will do it? If your physical body put forth the same attitude and effort that you do with others in the church, would you be happy with your body? We must remember the words of Galatians 6:2, “Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.” Let’s remember how wonderfully our physical body works together, and let this serve as a reminder of how the Body of Christ should also work.