I trust God when he says he wants the best for me and my life (Jeremiah 29:11). I trust God when he says he wants me to have a full, abundant life (John 10:10). I didn’t always trust him, though. Especially when it came to my health.
I trusted myself, my doctors, and my over-the- counter medications to keep me functioning, because, let’s face it, that’s what I saw everyone else doing. Well, it turns out God has thoughts about being transformed, starting with the renewing of my mind. Read Romans 12:2: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
When I began trusting God with my health, I had to ask for a new mind-set. I started to think about food and exercise differently. The past several years have been an intentional journey to honor God with my whole life, not just my spiritual life. My health has changed radically since I decided to trust God’s best for my life.
In addition to conforming to the traditional American approach to health, do you know what else I used to do? Sabotage my health, suffer unnecessarily, and then pray for healing and restoration. I once described this pattern to someone in a metaphor of banging my head against the wall, repeatedly, then wondering why I had a headache, and then praying for God to cure my headache. When he wouldn’t take the pain away, I would take medication. This is called self-sabotage.
Practically, self-sabotage looks like this: I would eat way too much pizza at a social gathering, get a major gut ache the next day, ask God to take the gut ache away, and then take medication for my heartburn. Self-sabotage. The pain was completely preventable! Have you ever been stuck in this cycle?
Your Body Is Designed for Balance
One of the challenges I confront in this wellness industry is individuals who don’t feel the need to change their habits because they don’t feel terrible or have a chronic disease. When you don’t feel terrible, where’s the motivation to change? The answer is simple. You don’t know what you don’t know.
Your body is constantly trying to bring you into a state of homeostasis, or balance. When you eat too much sugar, your body attempts to balance out your blood sugar by releasing insulin into the blood. When you drink soda, your body pulls minerals out of your bones to balance out and bind with the phosphoric acid in the soda. When you don’t manage chronic stress, your body releases cortisol to put your body into protection mode, which leads to increased body fat in the midsection. In the short term, these balancing mechanisms are incredibly helpful to keep us functional. But when we don’t correct the root of the issue, it’s only a matter of time before the body breaks down in a big way.
When we don’t know what we don’t know, we must trust that God knows what is best for our health. This means having the courage to genuinely ask God to reveal what areas in your life are out of balance and making daily choices that are honoring your body, mind, and spirit.
Exceptional Health Begins with What You Put into Your Mouth
There’s a story in scripture about a rich man who approached Jesus and asked him how to have eternal life. “Jesus answered, ‘If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me’” (Matthew 19:21). The man walked away, sad. The Savior of the world just gave this guy an opportunity of a lifetime—to walk, learn, and eat with the one and only Son of God and, ultimately, have eternal life—and the man walked away.
I wonder what Jesus would say today if he was approached by a person who was tired, overweight, joints aching, and sick all the time. The person might ask, “Jesus, what must I do to have less suffering, a healthy body image, enjoyment of my life, and abundant energy?” Jesus may look at that person with a twinkle in his eye and say, “Honor me with what you put in your mouth. Slow down and eat for nourishment. Rearrange some prioritiesto become less busy. And honor me with your body by keeping it strong and active. The day will come when I call you into action. You have a purpose and a unique call on your life. Be ready.”
Is that person you? How will you reply? Will you trust Jesus and begin the journey to transform your health, make steps to unclutter your life, and make physical exercise a priority?
I love this Bible verse found in Proverbs: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight” (3:5). Now what if we took the wisdom from this verse and applied it to our health?
What if we trust in the Lord with our whole bodies and leaned not on our own understanding/experiences/past failures with heath but instead acknowledged God with all of the ways we nourish our bodies (exercise, food, drink, experiences)? I believe then we will see a straighter path of health. Join me in journey toward living wellness.
Like what you read here? This was an excerpt from Living Wellness for Growth Groups (p. 192-193) which is available on our website here!
You are worth more than mediocre. You are worth exceptional health!
With contribution from Caitlyn J. Hanson
© 2017 Living Wellness, LLC Revolutionizing health, one community at a time.
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to diagnose or treat any illnesses or disease. Please always check with your doctor before beginning any new nutritional or fitness program or before making any nutritional/fitness changes.