The Joy of the Body of Christ 

Life was never intended to be lived alone in our own strength. That’s why God created Eve for Adam, and intended the church to be a body of believers. I’ve been so humbled by this truth in September. 

Let me start by saying I hate going to the doctor and I hate missing work. This month I have done both of those things way more than I am comfortable with. In the last 30 days, I somehow managed to take 9 trips to the hospital, yes 9, and missed 8 (and counting) days of work. I have been reminded daily that we can’t control our lives and our bodies have not yet been made perfect. However, I have also been reminded how sweet the gift of community is. I have had to rely on the help of others this month, like never before. Things that once were so easy, like getting out of bed, walking, driving, and eating, became difficult to do without the help of others. Not something I imagined I would say at the 24. However, in the midst of feeling like my body was useless, the Lord showed me two sweet truths. 

Truth one: The Lord’s timing is always sovereign. 

I would have never chose to go through all of the trips to the hospital and or to have an organ removed from my body if it were up to me. I just started developing relationships with my students, parents, and the other teachers, and it did not seem like an opportune time to fly back to the states for surgery. But, the Lord saw it fit in his timing to pull me away and take care of my body. And while I have been recovering, I have been able to spend so much more time with the Lord than I would have if I were in the classroom. He has used this time to refocus my gaze on Him and not the day-to-day tasks that seem so urgent. The more time I spent with the Lord, the more I realized how many things I was relying on my own strength and ability for, and not the Lord’s. Without this big interruption in my life, I may have easily gone months of teaching and trying to share the Gospel with my students in my own strength. But, the Lord is so good, and gracious to us that He sweetly reveals to us our sins and shows us how magnificent He is. Praise God for his plans, and not our own. Praise God for the Holy Spirit who saves souls, and not us. 

Truth two: We need community. 

I would have not survived this month without the help of my friends, coworkers, church members, and family. They reminded me that we truly need one another, but also they reminded me that I need to consider how I can love and serve others better. These sweet souls served me so well, but putting my putting my needs above their own. They displayed how the members of the Body of Christ are called to love one another. Just as Paul says in Phillipians, we are called to love others and count them more significant than ourselves. And I am so thankful for these faithful believers who lived out this command in my life this month. Not only did they make it possible for me to get around physically and prepare sub plans, but they also reminded me of the immeasurable kindness and grace our God shows to us. None of these people were obligated to help me, yet they willingly and joyfully stepped in to help me, when I didn’t even know what I needed. They reminded me of Jesus, who served those around him by sacrificing his sleep and his time to heal and teach people. And ultimately he made the ultimate sacrifice, by dying in our place, so we could be restored to a relationship with God. So thank you to the sweet people in my life who made sacrifices for my sake, and so graciously reminded me of the Gospel in the midst of my hardships. 

Let us Strive to Put Others Before Ourselves 

Paul speaks about the beauty of the body of Christ in Phillipians. In his letter to the church of Phillippi he writes that he rejoices in the Lord because of the kindness and concern the Phillipians had towards Paul in his affliction. The Phillipians provided for Paul in some of his deepest afflictions and thus displayed the beauty of the Gospel. So let us be encouraged to count others more significant than ourselves. Let us strive to love our brothers and sisters well to the glory of God, but also those who might be hard to love and serve. Let us put aside our own interests, and count the interests of others more significant. 

“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” Phillipians 2:3

– Kayla Sumile, GEM Missionary

If you’d like to support Kayla as she serves with GEM in Mexico, you can do so HERE. You can also contact her directly to talk further about what it means to be on her support team and find out how you can be praying for her!