Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.”

Hebrews 13:3

Do you get up in the middle of the night when it is dark and you are half asleep? I have. Most nights I make it safely to my intended destination and back to my bed without incident. On occasion I have been quickly awakened by the mysterious dresser phenomena. You know, when that big piece of furniture suddenly jumps out and attacks your big toe! “Ouch, my toe hurts,” I cry, gritting my teeth and praying for the pain to subside. Or maybe, like me, you have experienced those awful self-willed muscles pulling your toes and feet into positions you never thought they could bend. Leg cramps cause me to promptly tend to the ailing limb and fervently begin praying for the pain to leave. What is it about those little seemingly insignificant appendages that cause us to awaken from our sleep and respond without hesitation?

Within each of us is a mechanism called self preservation. We will protect, guard and tend to our wounds and protect the wounded limb. A child will naturally “splint” a fractured bone, such as an arm. The child will instinctively draw the broken arm close to the body and quickly learn that movement too far from the body causes great pain.

According to Webster, self preservation is defined as “preservation of oneself from destruction or harm or a natural or instinctive tendency to act so as to preserve one’s own existence.”

On our own there is no protection, no “splint”, to allow for the healing and regeneration of new bone. Often we tend to guard our pained hearts and hold ourselves at a distance lest anyone ever know we have been wounded. Fear of being too transparent leaves us just short of walking through the door, yet just close enough. We stand and observe from a distance in the darkness, trying to make our way to a safe zone, a place we can feel secure and attached.

The rest of the body recognizes something is not quite right; a toe is out joint, a calf muscle has a cramp; or maybe the forearm has been fractured. The wounded clench their teeth in hopes that the relentless pain will go away. It gnaws at the very core of their being and in darkness they try to find their way. How do we show a hurting world that Jesus has overcome the world and that they too can overcome?

We must take what God has given us and compel others to taste and see. We ourselves must learn to sit at the Master’s feet and draw close to Him. Jesus said, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” It is Jesus who draws people.  His body is the splint to rescue and deliver the salvation message. It is the self preservation of the body of Christ.  We should fervently and instinctively as Christians seek to preserve unity and our existence as a body.  Yes, we are our brother’s keeper. We are to take the Gospel to the whole world.

The Psalmist said, “O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him” (Psalm 34:8).


Adapted from the writing of Linda Brown originally published at Healing Words 247

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