The Allies suffered heavy losses at the Battle of Arnhem during World War II. Corporal Ray Sheriff of the 3rd Parachute Battalion was blinded in the battle, captured, and sent to a POW camp. After three months, his Regimental Sergeant Major J. C. Lord finally tracked him down. In a room full of men of different nationalities, he spotted the corporal sitting cross-legged on the floor, with his head slumped low. Striding up, he greeted him cheerily: “Corporal Sheriff, how are you getting on?” Sheriff instantly recognized the voice and jumped to attention: “Hello, Sir, it’s good to hear your voice.”

RSM J. C. Lord was deeply moved when he realized that the corporal had been blinded. It dawned on him that, for the first time in many months and in the midst of great suffering, Sheriff was heartened by a familiar and reassuring voice of someone close to him.

Being part of a family or group can give us a powerful sense of belonging. Corporal Ray Sheriff was part of the family of the British Armed Forces. As believers in Jesus, we’re part of the body of Christ. Just as “the human body has many parts but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ” (1 Corinthians 12:12).

Perhaps life has left you feeling battle-scarred. Maybe you feel weak and unimportant within the church family. Be assured that in the eyes of your heavenly Father, you have a vital role to play (1 Corinthians 12:22). As Paul wrote, “If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad” (1 Corinthians 12:26). May we know the joy of the family of God as we work together in harmony, giving the greatest care to those who are suffering, wounded, and weak.

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: 1 Samuel 3:1-21