The late morning light streams through the kitchen window overlooking my front yard. As I stir up a batch of my daughter’s favorite chocolate chip muffins, I stare out my window and think over a million and one things. Piercing through my foggy thoughts, I hear a sweet voice break into my mental madness. “Momma, I have a poon?” says my sweet tornado of a 3-year-old boy, Joshua. “Oh, do you want a spoon for your cereal? There’s no milk in your bowl, you don’t need a spoon,” I say. He gets a little fussy about it and gets quite demanding about wanting a spoon, so I give in as I realize he must want to stir his cereal the way I’m stirring the muffin batter. Handing over the treasured utensil I point out, “Oh! Are you cooking like Momma?” With great wisdom this little man says to me, “No, I’m cooking like Joshua.”
His statement diverted my thoughts to an entirely different track. As parents, we see our kids imitate almost everything we do. It’s common for me to witness my children change their clothing, hair, way of speaking, and non-verbal cues to echo my own. For the most part, I thoroughly enjoy watching my four children unintentionally mirror me within their own idiosyncracies.
On this particular spring morning, I received a fresh reminder how uniquely God creates us.
Psalm 139:13 says,
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.”
Matthew 10:30 says,
“But even the hairs of your head are all numbered.”
Not only has He made us uniquely, but we were created for a unique purpose.
Ephesians 2:10 says,
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
What a great God we worship! Not only does He intentionally create us for specific purposes, planned millenia in advance, He also delicately weaves together all of our eccentricities.
Notice the scripture specifies works in the plural, as in more than one. God doesn’t create our uniqueness for just one set-in-stone purpose. He has created us for many purposes. We don’t have to spend our lives wondering why we are here, always seeking one finite moment God made us for, running around in fear-circles praying we don’t miss it. We don’t have to self-centralize everything, asking God continuously, “Why am I here?” We are here for Him! He made us beautifully and perfectly to show love to others and to glorify Him. He uses our uniqueness for His glory over and over.
The other side to our individuality and diversity is our ability as the body of Christ to do many good things as a group for God’s glory and to show love to others. 1 Corinthians 12: 15-27 details God’s purpose for everyone having their own special purpose in the body of Christ:
“A body isn’t just a single part blown up into something huge. It’s all the different-but-similar parts arranged and functioning together. If Foot said, “I’m not elegant like Hand, embellished with rings; I guess I don’t belong to this body,” would that make it so? If Ear said, “I’m not beautiful like Eye, limpid and expressive; I don’t deserve a place on the head,” would you want to remove it from the body? If the body was all eye, how could it hear? If all ear, how could it smell? As it is, we see that God has carefully placed each part of the body right where he wanted it.
But I also want you to think about how this keeps your significance from getting blown up into self-importance. For no matter how significant you are, it is only because of what you are a part of. An enormous eye or a gigantic hand wouldn’t be a body, but a monster. What we have is one body with many parts, each its proper size and in its proper place. No part is important on its own. Can you imagine Eye telling Hand, “Get lost; I don’t need you”? Or, Head telling Foot, “You’re fired; your job has been phased out”? As a matter of fact, in practice it works the other way—the “lower” the part, the more basic, and therefore necessary. You can live without an eye, for instance, but not without a stomach. When it’s a part of your own body you are concerned with, it makes no difference whether the part is visible or clothed, higher or lower. You give it dignity and honor just as it is, without comparisons. If anything, you have more concern for the lower parts than the higher. If you had to choose, wouldn’t you prefer good digestion to full-bodied hair?
The way God designed our bodies is a model for understanding our lives together as a church: every part dependent on every other part, the parts we mention and the parts we don’t, the parts we see and the parts we don’t. If one part hurts, every other part is involved in the hurt, and in the healing. If one part flourishes, every other part enters into the exuberance.
You are Christ’s body—that’s who you are! You must never forget this. Only as you accept your part of that body does your “part” mean anything. (The Message Translation)
God made us specifically for all kinds of “good stuff.” Let’s celebrate our uniqueness and encourage others to do the same.
And by the way, those muffins came out fantastic!