When writing to a dear friend today whose car had broke down, a thought occurred to me;
It’s amazing how a $3 hose can put a car out of commission. But if you think about it, a car is only as good as the sum of it’s parts, and only as strong as the individual pieces that make it up. Some new cars have self-diagnostics on board that constantly check every system of the car and alert the driver if something is wrong. But unless the driver stops and fixes what the diagnostic system says is wrong, the car is headed for a failure. That’s where a mechanic comes in. Sooner or later you will need one. Everyone does. You will either drive to one, or be towed to one.  Well, the body of Christ needs “mechanics” too.

When one of us is weak or broken, it hurts the whole body of Christ. If you don’t believe when one part suffers, the whole body suffers, then take this simple test. Remember that bowling ball you have sitting in the closet? Get it out. Take your shoe off. Drop the ball on your toe. See? Your toe is all that hurts, but your whole body feels it and is hopping around on one foot, right? That’s why it’s necessary for each of us to check on the others to see if they’re ok. We need each other. God created us to be that way. While I can’t personally write to each of you every day, it’s possible for me to write to or call a few of you every day, which I do. My particular ministry is to be there for YOU, to check on you, know you personally, and check you for cuts, bruises, and in general watch over you, care for you and pray for you every day. I’m the Master’s mechanic.
There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t talk to someone who is going through a real trial of some kind. So what can I do, I’m only one person? Well, for one thing, I can pray for that person, and encourage them, and share what the Lord gives me for them to “jack up their faith”. It’s one thing to have a flat tire and sit along the roadside and say, Woe is me, and another to get the spare out and put it on and be on your way. But sometimes, a person is so beat down and broken that they no longer have the heart to put the spare on and go. It’s then they need someone to come alongside and help. They need “Roadside service”. That’s where we come in.

 Many of you have asked me in the past, What can I do? How can I minister to others? There is more ministry taking place than you realize when you simply take the time to listen to someone who is hurting. Most people these days are just too busy to listen. My job is not only to minister to the hurting ones, but to encourage others like you to do the same. Imagine me trying to care for ten thousand hurting people a month by myself. I can’t, just being one person. But imagine what would happen if about five thousand of you decided to get involved helping others. It would make the amount of ministry available to hurting people grow to a level never achieved before. And the body of Christ needs that personal touch. And you do too, right? I rest my case.
Whether you realize it or not, there are thousands of people out there in churches who “fall through the cracks” every week, whose pastors cannot take time to minister to them on a personal basis. While the pastor may have a staff to refer those people to, it’s really the pastor they want to talk to. Think about it. After all, he is the one they listen to each Sunday. But often those who need him the worst can’t get much one-on-one time with him. Then again, a pastor’s job is not to be a full time counselor for the same people week after week.
Those people need to apply themselves to God’s word so they can grow, but in my experience, they need more one-on-one than a pastor can take time to give. After all, he has other sheep to tend as well. And partly because of that, great is the number of people who have become discouraged and no longer go to church anywhere. That number, unfortunately, is growing. They end up basket cases; broken hearted, broken marriages, addictions, discouraged, you name it.
 My time is literally taken up daily with “basket cases” who have been written of by others. But I’m not complaining. That’s our ministry. I remember my first “basket case” years before I entered the ministry. It was a Kawasaki 250cc motorcycle. Actually, it was three baskets full of parts, nuts, bolts, gears, and it had been torn down to it’s last little part. There were coffee cans full of who knows what. One of the baskets had been sitting outside for some time and some of the parts were rusty. Even the ignition lock was in pieces. Well, I like a challenge, and it looked like it had possibilities, so I took it home. Besides that, it was free. It took me weeks to figure out what each part came off of, to separate them into sub-assemblies, and then start assembling components. Then came painting and finish work. Most all the parts were there, but I didn’t know what was missing until I started the final assembly. Then I had to go shopping for the rest of it. But finally the day came that I took it for the first ride. I was so happy with the results. The motorcycle had come from pieces to a sparkling finished product. Over the years I started and completed several other basket cases, and experienced the joy of a job well done many times over. I guess it’s only natural that today I still specialize in basket cases. Only now, they’re people who have been torn apart, abused, and tossed on the junk pile of life. And it takes a lot of time to help people through what they may be dealing with. But it sure is worth it.

Fortunately, God sees us all as repairable. He has no junk pile. Isn’t that encouraging? Just when you maybe thought you were useless to God and yourself and everyone else, here I’m telling you there’s hope! Instead of a scrap heap, God has a better idea; He recycles. Recycling companies take discarded items, process the good materials out of them, and send the raw material to a manufacturer to make new stuff out of. Kinda like God does. He gathers those who are all used up and discarded to His recycle center. He doesn’t waste anything, believe me. Some are in the “lost” bin. Some are in the “unsaved” bin. Some are in the “sick” bin. Still others are in the “abused” bin. Some are even in the “abuser” bin. No matter what category they are in, He takes all who ask Him to be their Lord and Savior, and separates the junk that has accumulated in them from that which He created, that is, the person. Then He washes them clean with the blood of Jesus, puts His Holy Spirit in them, makes them a brand new creation. And behold, old things are passed away, and all things are become new. How about that? Recycling at it’s very best!

 God calls it being “born again”. By the way, if you haven’t experienced that yet, make it the top of your “to do” list today. You’ll sure be glad you did.
So, if you’re a basket case, let’s get together. I love basket cases, and so does Jesus. With God, we can help put you back together and make you better than you ever thought you could be. Who knows? Someday you may be working on rebuilding basket cases. There’s nothing the Lord would like better than seeing those helped, helping others. You ask what your ministry is? Maybe you’ve just found it. And there’s never a dull moment.