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Spiritual Octopus- All Tentacles in Use

Romans 12:4-5 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. A movie that was one of my favorites from many years ago is the movie 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and it is based on the Jules Verne book of the same title. One particular part of the movie is when the submarine that the shipwrecked men are on is attacked by a giant octopus and that part really scared me as a child. The men took harpoons and tried to get the octopus off their ship, but just as sure as one would attack the octopus at it's core one of the arms would pick him up and throw him out in the sea. The many arms of the octopus were moving independent of each other, but all doing the same purpose by defeating the many men who were attacking from all locations.

The tentacles of an octopus are not all exactly the same size or strength, but all are helpful in making the octopus a formidable foe because they all have a purpose that serve the central octopus. All of us as believers are called out to serve God and even though we have different strengths and weaknesses, we are all capable of doing great things for God because God is at our core. Like an octopus we all approach this born again life in different ways with different approaches and different gifts, but we are all very important to the purposes of God. So do not ever think you are not significant in the Lord's service, because you are, and that is because you are God's child. God takes care of His children and in that process God uses his other children to help in that area as well. The love we have as believers is a love generated from the very heart of God. In this great love our Lord gives us strength to handle the rigors of life, and not just handle them, but soar in the midst of them. Psalm 46:1-3 explains how this happens. 1 God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change. And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; 3 Though its waters roar and foam, Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride.

Of course, we are much different than the example of the octopus because when one arm is cut off instead of that tentacle dying we lift each other up to restore that one who has been hurt so much. The very empathy we are able to show to others is spiritually generated and way beyond our capacity. A spiritual octopus would react to one of the tentacles being injured by all of the other tentacles rushing to help restore that tentacle. When we think about restoration we realize the heart that makes that possible is a heart that has been changed by God and grace has made a way.

A few years ago, an angry man rushed through the Rijks Museum in Amsterdam until he reached Rembrandt's famous painting "Nightwatch." Then he took out a knife and slashed it repeatedly before he could be stopped. A short time later, a distraught, hostile man slipped into St. Peter's Cathedral in Rome with a hammer and began to smash Michelangelo's beautiful sculpture The Pieta. Two cherished works of art were severely damaged. But what did officials do? Throw them out and forget about them? Absolutely not! Using the best experts, who worked with the utmost care and precision, they made every effort to restore the treasures. By His sovereign grace, God can bring good out of our failures, and even out of our sins. J. Stuart Holden tells of an old Scottish mansion close to where he had his little summer home. The walls of one room were filled with sketches made by distinguished artists. The practice began after a pitcher of soda water was accidentally spilled on a freshly decorated wall and left an unsightly stain. At the time, a noted artist, Lord Landseer, was a guest in the house. One day when the family went out to the moors, he stayed behind. With a few masterful strokes of a piece of charcoal, that ugly spot became the outline of a beautiful waterfall, bordered by trees and wildlife. He turned that disfigured wall into one of his most successful depictions of Highland life.

Our Lord does the same with lives that seem so utterly destroyed and cut off. God is about restoration and He continues to make us useful in that restoration process. You may think that you are not of any use to God any more when you go through your personal struggle, but wait......You are someone God loves so much and He wants to restore you to Himself and thus heal the hurt and make you new. And God can take the "spills" in your life and remake a beautiful masterpiece out of your struggles. Here is what God does, and this is how we should function as His children. Psalm 147:3 He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds. I think God that I am a living example of God doing that very thing. At times when my heart was so broken God binded up my wounds with His loving care. Praise God for taking a bruised life and mending the wounds. Never feel like you are cut off from God, because you aren't. Every tentacle is important!!!

The Pilgrimage Continues....

David Warren

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