There are essentials and nonessentials. Food, clothing, water, shelter, oxygen, and sleep are essential to human life. Fishing rods, classic cars, manicures, chocolate, and hair dye are not. Until a worldwide pandemic hit, few of us questioned whether our employment positions were essential; we assumed that since we were hired, we were needed and therefore essential.
The shocking reality came when faithful, trusted, valued employees in all phases of business, education, government, and medicine were classified “essential” or “nonessential”. The ranks of nonessential workers grew rapidly, as skeleton crews of essential workers scrambled to maintain productivity and effectiveness within their companies. The reduction of workforces is still felt as hospitals are short-staffed, postal workers double up on responsibilities, schools suffer limitations, and churches, in some cases have closed doors and scaled back in community outreach.
If you are a Christian, you are an essential worker. Our mission is to spread the hope and good news of Jesus Christ whether we get a paycheck for it or not. That is, and always will be, essential. Our workforce is strong. It is the Body of Believers—the Church—and we have the great privilege of representing Jesus to a world overwhelmed with fear, hopelessness, defeat, and evil.
Lest anyone in the Body of Christ thinks he is nonessential, Romans 12:4-8 (NLT) declares this: Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ's body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other. In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly (Romans 12:4-8 NLT).
Notice the sentence, In His grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. The “gifts” referred to are the gifts of the Spirit, mentioned more specifically in 1 Corinthians 12:4-11: There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills. Those gifts are the “essentials” we bring to people in need of salvation, healing, encouragement, direction, wisdom, miracles, etc.
I contracted COVID-19 earlier this year, and after three rounds of steroids to combat the inflammation in my lungs, the virus attacked a fourth time. That morning, when I was very short of breath and having considerable lung discomfort and a poor pulse oxygen reading, I was reminded by the Lord of the scripture in James 5:14-15 (NLT), Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord. Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well.
I texted my two close friends, who are elders in the church and remarkable women of God, and asked them to come and anoint me with oil and pray. They promptly came and did just that. A very sweet time of prayer ensued, and quietly and peacefully the Spirit of the Lord filled my bedroom. We all sensed His Presence at one point as the prayer continued, and I felt something lift from my chest. Breathing became much easier, and I knew the Lord had touched me! No sooner did my friends leave the room than I reached for the pulse oximeter. The reading had been 84 the previous night, but now it was rising…91…95…96…98…99…100! Something else happened, for several days later I noticed the “bubble” I’d felt in my stomach from a hiatal hernia was gone, and my appetite and eating were normal. It was as if the Lord did a twofer and healed two ailments at the same time!
My friends were essential workers in accomplishing the healing Jesus had for me. Their hands were essential—the oil didn’t just fly across the bedroom and land on my body. Their voices were essential—the prayer they said went straight to the Throne Room of the Father and yielded supernatural results. Their authority, as elders in the Body of Christ, was essential for my healing—it had been given to them to use over all the power of the enemy (Luke 10:19) including COVID-19 and a hiatal hernia.
There are essentials and nonessentials. What is the essential work Christ is calling you to? Perhaps a word of encouragement to a downtrodden heart? A prayer of healing for a sick friend? An act of service to another? Maybe you have faith to believe in a miracle for a desperate situation.
Webster’s Dictionary defines “essential” as of the utmost importance; basic; INDISPENSABLE; necessary. You, my friend, are an essential worker!
© 2021, Chris Werre