I recently had my left toe nail surgically removed. I had a swollen toe for 4 months and no one knew what was wrong with it. There was no accident. Nothing was dropped on the toe. Nor did I kick anything. It just started swelling after wearing boots for several months.
I found some hope after a trip to my fourth doctor. This doctor was compassionate towards me. You could see the hurt on her face as I explained all I had been through. She vowed to find out what this was and find a treatment. She took many pictures of my toe and promised to use technology to reach out to many other doctors to find an answer. And she did!
Now, having my conscience satisfied that we knew what was wrong we proceeded to the treatment plan. This is where the toe nail removal comes in. There had been damage done to the cuticle area where the nail grows from. In fact the nail had stopped growing several months ago. Once the nail was out you could clear see the damage.
I’m going through the healing process as I write this. Let me tell you it is painful. I had an infection on top of the original nail damage that has complicated it somewhat. As I experience the pain, I can’t help but be reminded of a few Scriptures I’d like to share with you.
The first comes from 1 Corinthians 12:12 NKJV “For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.” My big toe is a member of my physical body. It is a small part but equally a part of my body nonetheless. I never realized how important this little part was until I started having problems with it. I neglected it for so long. Now I’m facing the consequences of that neglect. (Never again will I wear boots for four months in a row, no matter how cold I am!)
The next verse is also in 1 Corinthians 12. It’s verse 26 that says “And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.” This verse brings new meaning as I suffer with the pain in my big toe. Such a small part, yet so powerfully painful. My whole body is racked with pain emanating from my big toe! The toe is where the problem is, yet my whole body is suffering. I can’t walk on my left foot so the right side is working harder. My muscles are sore because they are compensating for the non-use of the left foot.
Granted these two verses are talking about the spiritual body of Christ, which we as believers are part of. But I couldn’t help but chuckle as I saw similarity in my physical body’s condition right now.
I more I thought on these verses, the more I couldn’t help but see I am part of Christ’s body. I have a purpose and job to accomplish for that body. Am I doing what I’m meant to do? Am I carrying out my “designed” function in the body? If not, why? If I do not do what I’m meant to do, then the rest of the body has to work harder too. We wonder why some in ministry burn out! Could it be that some parts of the body aren’t doing their parts, so other parts are having to compensate? What would happen if all parts did what they were designed to do?
How about you? Have you thought about your part in the body of Christ recently? I encourage you to read 1 Corinthians 12. Think on these truths. Let the words of Christ dwell in your richly.