Something Bigger: Caring for the Whole Person

Fading Flowers

Something Bigger - A Studio 1-37 Original ImageIt seems I’ve spent a lot of time in the car this week traveling from one place to another. One of the things that I have noticed in my travels is that the season of fall is in full swing. I generally spend my time in the car in silence thinking about life and observing the landscape as it zooms by. One of the notable things this week that grabbed my attention was the fading flowers on the interstate.

It seems it was just last week that I marveled at the beautiful wildflowers in a full riot of colors that danced in the median as I passed by. The brilliant oranges, pinks, yellows, and greens that in any other place would have garishly clashed, found their stage along the roadside. But now, the colors no longer scream their status as some fade while others simply wither away. As I observed this change in the season, I immediately thought about the verse in Isaiah 40:8. ”The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the Word of our God stands forever.”

The seasons certainly change and stand as a reminder that not only is there beauty to be seen in the change but that some things do not change. The bigger things in life, the important things, the things we are to put first do not change. Our God is in charge, as He has been since the beginning of time and He has not changed. This is a comforting reminder to us that there is something bigger than all of us and the world. Too often, especially during the bustle of the holidays, the line blurs in the busyness and often we put the spotlight on other things. We can quickly lose sight of what is truly important and remember that there is something bigger.

Something Bigger

Years ago, Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks revived a comedy skit entitled, 2013-Year-Old Man, from the original called, The 2000-Year-Old Man. In the skit, Reiner interviews Brooks, who is the old gentleman. At one point, Reiner asks the old man, ”Did you always believe in the Lord?”

The old man replied, ”No. We had a guy in our village named Phil, and for a time we worshiped him.” The interviewer asked, ”You worshiped a guy named Phil? Why?” The old man replied, ”Because he was big and mean, and he could break you in two with his bare hands!”

The interviewer continued, ”Did you have prayers?” The old man replied, ”Yes, would you like to hear one? O Phil, please don’t be mean, and hurt us, or break us in two with your bare hands.”

The interviewer asks, ”So, when did you start worshiping the Lord?” The old man replied, ”Well, one day a big thunderstorm came up, and a lightning bolt hit Phil. We gathered around and saw that he was dead. We looked up and then said to one another, ”˜There’s something bigger than Phil!’”

Thankfully, there is something bigger than Phil and bigger than all of us. There is a God who is not only bigger but greater. What is even more amazing is that this bigger and greater God cares deeply for all of us. He cares not for just how we worship Him, but He cares for our physical being as well. Our God cares for us as a whole person.

The Whole Person

The Apostle John experienced how much God cares for us as He experienced life with Him first hand when God came to earth in the form of man. Because of John’s experiences, he knew firsthand that God was not just concerned for the spiritual well-being of His creations but for the whole being as in the physical. We see this clearly in John’s greeting to Gaius.

Dear friend, I hope all is well with you and that you are as healthy in body as you are strong in spirit. 3 John 1:2 (NLT)

Too often, we attempt to separate our lives into the spiritual and the secular. We treat our bodies as secular while keeping the spiritual side pure. But God cares about our whole self and doesn’t expect us to split ourselves into parts. We are to live lives in which all things are to glorify God. There is no separation of secular to spiritual for God, as He is bigger than all things and in control of the whole.

We shouldn’t attempt to divide ourselves and create a struggle to finish our ”common life” so we can balance it with our ”holy life.” There is no difference to God, this ideology only resides in our minds. Everything that we do in our life should be offered to the Lord. For if we do these things with pure hearts of love they become holy. So, the detailed preparation of a meal, to include, shopping, is just as holy as prayer when we do so to the honor and glorify God. The Apostle Paul reminds us that the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we do, but of living a life of goodness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. (Romans 14:16 -18)

Make the Common Holy

As we move into the full swing of the holiday season next week, let us all remember to make everything we do holy by offering the whole of our life to God instead of just part. It is important that we take care of our whole self and not neglect or indulge in the celebrations so that we are always at our best for God’s service. As responsible believers, we must look after both our body and soul while encouraging others to do the same.

The love of God surrounds our whole being always whether we are in the midst of holiday celebrations or not. This deep love should be our motivation to make all things in honor of Him and to help others care for their whole beings as well. For it isn’t just part of our body that is important, it is the whole thing.

As you move into the holiday season, take the challenge to not attempt to separate yourself into pieces and parts but equally attend to both your body and spirit. Be convicted that God made the whole of you and it is the whole that He loves. Find your motivation in His love that never changes no matter how fast the world around you may transform. Allow the comfort of knowing that there is something bigger than you and this world. It is the one, great, and mighty God that cares for both the physical and spiritual you. Be your best in all parts allowing your whole life to honor Him.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Love in Christ,
E.J.

Postscript

God didn’t put us on the Time and Place Committee; He put us on the Preparation Committee. Our job is not to speculate about times and seasons, but to make sure we are living as God wants us to live with thoughts of one another in the here and now.

Donald Strobe

Extra Study

Isaiah 40:8, Romans 14, 1 Corinthians 4:15, Galatians 4:19, 1 John 2:1

What are Your Thoughts?

Do you attempt to separate your life into spiritual and physical parts? Have you tried to live a life with one foot in the kingdom and the other on earth? Share your thoughts on knowing that there is something bigger than life that loves the whole of you.

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Credits
Kinnard, J. (1973, August 27). Brooks, Reiner Revive 2,000”Year”Old Man, Now 2,013. New York, New York, USA. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/1973/08/27/archives/brooks-reiner-revive-2000yearold-man-now-2013-appreciative-audience.html

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