While writing this article on board the Interislander (the
ferry that runs between the North Island and the South Island of New Zealand), I
am still recovering from the evidence of love that has been shown to us by so
many people over the past few days.
We have been packing up our home in order to do two year's
missionary service overseas and the job looked incredibly huge. Our house is a
large one, we had to build a garage to house the vehicles, as well as finishing
other sundry but equally important jobs in a matter of two months!
Thankfully, we didn't have to cope with the lot on our own
-– the Lord had people prepared to help us and that's exactly what they did!
The job was still long and sometimes tedious, with a distinct feeling of stress,
but progress was made and the end accomplished at last.
Watching the stream of people that assisted us in different
areas, it struck me that I was seeing the real meaning of 'body ministry' in
action. Previously the words conjured up a vision of a group of enthusiastic
spiritual warriors surrounding a hapless victim and dispatching demonic powers
to the far corners of the earth. However, this time I saw that each friend
gravitated towards the areas that they could most bless us in because that's
what they are good at. Some were packing boxes carefully (not one of my own
personal fortes), some were cleaning, my mother and sister were cooking the
meals and coping with the mess left over after we all resumed work, others moved
furniture and were general 'gofors' (go for this and go for that...)
1 Corinthians 12 speaks about the spiritual gifts
that have been given to each and every one of us and then points out that as we
are different parts of the 'body', we also have different jobs to do.
However, this does not mean that any one part is better than any other. Each
member is interdependent on the others to function properly i.e. a hand cannot
work unless the brain sends the commands along the nerves.
Some of the job descriptions seem to be a little more
glamorous than others i.e. evangelists and pastors, and yet God has given more
honour to those who have the less than desirable ones i.e. setting out the
chairs in church every Sunday morning and baking a cake for the family down the
Our interaction should be so close that, "...whether one
member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all
the members rejoice with it." (Verse 26). I believe the reason for this is
that if we are focusing on each other, we are not catering to selfishness in our
own lives and that is one more battle won. I watched all our helpers. In some
way, they were all 'suffering', after a fashion, with us, and yet in helping
us they were also being blessed because we were so excited to be helped!
It brings to mind a song that my father had on record when we
were little. A man started off singing, "I like to think about them, wonder
where I'd be without them, help me be the 'good folks' in other people's
lives." (Not grammatically correct but the meaning is clear.) He then went on
to list the different people that had been a blessing to him in various ways as
he grew up. You can often tell by looking at some people whether or not there
have been any 'good folks' in their lives and it started me off thinking
about the ones in mine.
There are so many that it's hard to know where to start and
definitely no point where I could finish so I guess I would start with my
parents. Their examples of Godly living have given me wonderful goals of what I
want to achieve in my walk with the Lord -– in the mornings, if I opened my
parents' bedroom door quietly, I would see my mother on her knees beside the
bed, with portions of her Bible folded in half. This was how she marked what she
felt was important. Sometimes there weren't many flat pages left!
Another one was my brother, Andrew, who was not content to
just accept what he was taught as fact until he had verified it for himself from
the Word of God, and often 'rocked the boat' with a view to making sure that
our relationships with the Lord were built on reality and not just fluff and
At a 50th birthday party some years ago, I had the
privilege of hearing all three cousins witness to the fact that their father, my
Uncle Hudson, was a Godly man who lived what he preached. It's only the people
that live with you that can really tell what you are like -– you can't hide
much from them....
A close friend, Tracey, who came up with cooked meals for my
family when I was either sick or getting through various traumas.
Other friends in Christchurch, Dave and Maureen Smith, who,
when we arrive, put everything aside and devote themselves to making our time
with them warm, and restful......
There are so many, too numerous to mention, but they all play
a part in helping us to live this lifespan that we have been allotted. This then
brings to mind the question, "Am I a 'good folk' in anyone's life?"
This should then be followed by, "Am I allowing the Lord to use me to be one?"
The way to allow Him to use us is to look around for areas that you can be of
service in. I may be going out on the mission field, and it can sometimes be one
of the more interesting job profiles that are given to the body of Christ, but I
have seen that there are plenty of other job profiles that have not been filled
at home, and yet they need to be. Are there people who come alone to the service
and leave alone again afterwards? Are there sick among you who have to try and
look after their families anyway? Is someone's car broken down and they can't
afford to have it fixed and you have the necessary skills? Are there elderly
people who don't get many visitors? Is there a tired mother who would
appreciate a couple of hours rest from her active children? Could you possibly
smile at someone who has a sad face? There are so many opportunities to bless
others (which boomerangs by blessing you) and yet so many people miss them.
When that boomerang of blessing comes back to you, it's
usually in the areas that you struggle in i.e. If you are lonely and want people
to visit, get out and visit them first. It takes awhile for people to really
believe that you are interested in them and you will have to prove it by being
faithful but the results are great!
"I like to think about them, wonder where I'd be without
them, help me be the good folks in other people's lives."