And it's possible even while we might not be in the place we want to be to belong to something that is bigger than us, something that isn't about us; something that will give us peace, a sense of purpose and freedom to be ourselves without the stress of thinking we have to control it all. It's such a relief when we give up control to God. Trying to control our lives and our worlds is a big thing that adds stress to many people's lives. When we realize it's not about us and we don't have to control, what a joy this is. If you have't ever done this, please do. Please seek out Jesus Christ and give Him control of your life. When you do that He takes the wheel (like in Carrie Underwood's country song) and we can sit in the passenger seat and enjoy the ride.
We all want to feel wanted and belong and purposeful. Being part of the Body of Christ can give us these feelings and purpose. Eugene H. Peterson's biblical translation The Message speaks to this with clear, every day language in
1 Corinthians 12:
"What I want to talk about now is the various ways God's Spirit gets worked into our lives . . . God wants us to use our intelligence, to seek to understand as well as we can . . . God's various gifts are handed out everywhere; but they all originate in God's Spirit. . . Each person is given something to do that shows who God is: Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits. All kinds of things are handed out by the Spirit and to all kinds of people!
"You can easily enough see how this kind of things works by looking no further than your own body. Your body has many parts -- limbs, organs, cells -- but no matter how many parts you can name, you're still one body. It's exactly the same with Christ. By means of his one Spirit, we all said goodbye to our partial and piecemeal lives. We each used to independently call our own shots, but then we entered into a large and integrated life in which he has the final say in everything.
"I want you to think about how all this makes you more significant, not less. 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, transparent 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 you 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 keeeps your significance from getting blown up into self-importance. For no matter how significant you are, it is only because of what you are 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.
"The way God designed our bodies is a model for underrstanding 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."