How’s your body doing? Are you sick, overweight, beaten down or full of various physical issues? Or do you generally feel good? Most of us start out feeling great in our younger years, so much so that we don’t even think about our health until something starts to go–and it is true that we seem to be given a certain grace period while we’re young, during which we can neglect our bodies a certain bit without serious repercussions. Yet the truth is that many of us can still feel great–even as we age–assuming we’re prudent in treating the body and mind God has provided us with!
“Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know…I will bring health and healing…I will heal My people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security…I will cleanse them from all the sin they have committed against Me and will forgive all their sins of rebellion against Me.” (Jeremiah 33:3, 6, 8 NIV)
It’s dangerous to take verses out of context, so let me disclose that these are part of God’s prophecy concerning Israel. Yet they do illustrate the fact that when we seek wisdom from God He reveals it, and He heals us–when we are right with Him. It’s all interconnected, not unlike the various components of our bodies. Our physical health cannot be separated out from our overall relationship with Christ; when we submit to His authority and trust in Him, He tells us “great and unsearchable things we do not know,” and brings health and healing, and cleanses us from our sins. He loves His own, and gives them that which is good!
Of course, God also uses physical affliction to mold us into the character of Christ. It is, for example, not true that if you really love Him, you will be disease-free; look to the examples of Paul and Timothy, both of whom had physical ailments–Paul so severely that he begged the Lord three times to remove the “thorn in his flesh,” yet was assured, “My grace is sufficient for you.” No; God’s people are not always healthy, wealthy and wise; there are times God uses our trials and tribulations for His purposes! Yet there are many more times we suffer not because we need to, but out of a lack of sufficient understanding.
What am I trying to say? Merely that many of us tackle the issue of our health backwards: we plow through life not having made the effort to find out what’s good for us–then, when something goes wrong, we seek out a doctor hoping for a pill or procedure to fix it. Sometimes they get it right, sometimes they don’t–they know a lot, but even they don’t know everything; many times the medication that alleviates one symptom produces others, and if we’re not careful we can end up on a bagful of medication, but still not be quite right.
It is much better to approach our physical well-being in a straightforward head-on manner–to take a little time to read up on what’s good for us and what’s not, and then live that way. No, we may not avoid everything bad–there’s so much we need to do and so much we need to avoid–and because our knowledge isn’t perfect we may get a lot right but miss something else. Yet overall, we’ll feel better and be healthier than someone who throws in the towel and does everything bad and nothing good! (If you’re already ailing–please don’t ignore your doctor; begin now by educating yourself, and together, work out a healthy plan for you.)
With the internet, we have no excuse. It’s almost common knowledge these days that excessive sitting is bad for you; that you need to sleep enough; that your diet should consist of fresh (preferably organic) fruits and vegetables, supplemented by whole (not processed white) grains, seeds, nuts and beans, more healthy fats (olive oil, butter, cod liver oil, cocoa butter, etc.), and moderate amounts of protein (from meat or other sources).
We also now know that because we’re so interconnected, our emotions impact our physical health–that’s why we feel so much better overall when we get right with Him! Once our psyches–our relationships with Him and others–are corrected and our outlook on life is lined up in accordance with the hope and future we have in Christ, the physical cannot but follow suit!
But if we ignore the spiritual–if our attitudes are wrong; if we hate people; if guilt gnaws away at us; if we are consumed by worry; if we have no One to turn to when the screws of life clamp down on us–then our actual physical bodies eventually break down too.
So, how’s your body doing? If it’s not doing too well, 1) first of all straighten yourself out with God; confess your sins so He can forgive and heal you–it’s so interrelated! Then 2) ask Him for wisdom about the practical nitty-gritty of how to live so you feel better. He promises to do it!! “But if any of you needs wisdom, you should ask God for it. He is generous to everyone and will give you wisdom without criticizing you.” (James 1:5 NCV)
Dear Lord God,
Give me “eyes” to see what’s really going on! Please forgive me; make me right with You. And please give me real understanding–real wisdom what to do and how to live my life so I feel better and am healthier! Amen.