Does winter not feel like winter sometimes? Does anyone else hear all the coughing? Do you hear rumors of stomach bugs and sore throats?
It’s hard to escape. Someone sneezed on my cart at Walmart! MY CART! Ugh! You can’t get away. You can’t live in a bubble. Is there any way to find your way out?
How many of us are looking for a new cure? The secret to health is around the corner. Truthfully, health is so much like our spiritual life. Are you doing what you already know you should be doing? Are you asking God for answers and you haven’t done what He had already told you to do? I liken it to my meals. Often I want to run to the store for fresh basil and goat cheese, when I need to use and be content with the parmesan cheese and black pepper that I already have. Are you getting hit with sickness? Are you doing what you know to do?
Let’s begin with the obvious that “everyone knows.” Cut sugar out of your diet. It is a negative nutrient. It is a weight to cast aside. Sugar harms your teeth and liver. It can set you up for liver disease, heart disease, diabetes and cancer. It is addicting and makes you fat. Sugar depresses your immune system for 5 hours after consumption. Do you start your day with sugar in your coffee? Or cereal? Start here. Start strong and cut it out.
Are you sleep disturbed? It’s all fine and good to stay up late to finish a book or visit with friends. Do you make a habit of running on empty? Or are you flat lazy and need to fight your desire to recline? There is a window of the right amount. If you get too much or too little, you will be tired. Longer sleep is associated with obesity, unclear thinking and can make depression worse. Under sleeping can lead to obesity, unclear thinking, diabetes and heart disease. I don’t put much stock in the tables of how much sleep a person needs. You will know when you find your sweet spot.
How about exercise? We ALL know we SHOULD. Do you? Now lest you think I am encouraging you to idolize your body, I am not. But for pity sake, even your dog needs a walk! Daily. Are you out of time? Look again. Discipline begets discipline. If you faithfully exercise, I bet you will be convicted to stay more faithful in your devotions. Just sayin’. It’s a lot easier to eat right if you know how much work is required to counteract that doughnut. Discipline begets discipline.
How about your food? Do you have a plan? Do you have a standard? I don’t put just anything on the outside of my body, I have a standard of modesty. It applies to what I eat as well. I don’t put olive oil in my car. I give it appropriate fuel. Food is our fuel. I don’t put certain foods in my body. It is not a sin, if I do. My relationship with God is not harmed if I eat cake. Do not expect your body to run well if you do not fuel it right.
I love supplements. Be careful though. You can spend a heap of money on them and if you are just hunting and pecking, or taking health advice from Facebook :-/, you are literally throwing money down the drain. You will never go wrong with good old vitamin C, some good quality omega 3’s and probiotics. These supplements are rarely an allergen and build immunity. You can do more, but keeping it simple is often preferred. Faithfully taking one supplement is better than not taking 20 high quality supplements in your pantry.
How about your mind? Are you feeding it junk food? Our bodies react strongly to stress. Stress is an immune system killer. Do you know our bodies release the same chemicals in imaginary stress and actual stress? Maybe the admonition of God’s Word to set no evil thing before your eye should be heeded?!? If you watch a sad movie, your body releases the same chemicals as if you went through this trial. What about fearful things? It’s hard to “fear not” if you are releasing fear chemicals. Angry things release angry chemicals. Philippians 4:8 is gold. Go for the gold!!
If you do these things and are still struggling, take stock. Sometimes you need to pay attention, but if you are not doing what you know you should, how can you expect further guidance? God cares about your health. Illness is not a sin. Somethings must be endured, but don’t invite sickness due to self indulgence and negligence. Be faithful!