How Healthy Are You?
February 5, 2019
Lately I have been taking a half hour walk just about every day. I started close to two years ago when my blood sugar told me it was time. I don’t especially love to exercise, but I don’t want to end up a diabetic either. Something visceral happens when you have a patient pull out her eye and tell you, “I wish I would have paid attention when the doctor told me I needed to change my diet.” Statements like that send the message loud and clear: There is a whole lot going on and in our bodies that we cannot see. If we don’t want to reap the negative consequences later, we’d better pay attention now.
Unfortunately, sometimes it takes the school of hard knocks to get the message through to us.
I am no different.
For years I had been convicted to cut down on the sugar in my diet and to stop drinking soda. While I had made many strides in decreasing the number of sweets I ate, I couldn’t seem to stop drinking soda. When the Lord convicted me, my response was simple. “I want to quit drinking soda Lord, but I just don’t have a reason to stop.” Of course, the Lord’s conviction should have been reason enough to make me forever skip another swallow. But for me, it simply wasn’t. I loved my Dr. Pepper. And, as hard as is to say, the truth is… I loved my Dr. Pepper more than I loved the warning the Holy Spirit was sending. So rather than heed His direction, I dismissed the whisper God had been speaking to my heart over and over again for years.
As time passed, there were a number of subtle signs that pointed to the idea that something wasn’t quite right inside my body. For starters, I had gotten multiple urinary tract infections over a two year period- something I’d never dealt with before. And, I noticed that I frequently felt shaky soon after eating at my favorite bar-b-que restaurant. (Unbeknownst to me, the sweet tea, garlic bread, bar-b-que sauce and French fries were causing my sugar to escalate. Imagine that!) With a mild hunch that maybe elevated blood sugar was the culprit, I began checking it on a daily basis. I quickly discovered that while my glucose numbers were not off the charts, neither were they in a normal range when I ate a moderate number of carbohydrates- especially for someone my age, without a family history of diabetes who is neither overweight, nor overly sedentary.
So, equipped with a “reason to quit” I began changing the way I did life. I educated myself on proper nutrition and the effect of excessive sugar on the body. I discovered how little nutrition was found in some of the foods that I had previously considered to be healthy and was forced to make some sizeable changes. I began significantly cutting out simple carbohydrates (processed food, sugar and soda) from my diet. Exercise became a daily part of my routine and denying my flesh became an even greater habit- one I still am working to master; one which- by the way- the Lord commands.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; You were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your bodies.”
There is so much more I could say related to this topic. But my point is not to educate you about diabetes (though many people are walking around with it and don’t even know it). Instead, my hope is that through my experience, you will recognize where you are missing God when it comes to your health. Please, don’t wait for an angel to appear in a dream before you listen to what the Holy Spirit is whispering to your heart. (Secretly, that is what I was hoping for!) Let this be your confirmation. If something doesn’t feel quite right, get it checked out. Don’t put off the blood work, the CT scan or the doctor visit until it is too late. Don’t bury your head in the sand and hope everything turns out ok. Take action today.
Our health is not something that fails us in one day. Sickness generally appears as a result of small choices we make on a daily basis added together over years. If we don’t take care of ourselves today, we will pay the price tomorrow. And I don’t want that for either of us!
“Lord, Thank you for leading me in healthy choices every day. Help me to heed the voice of your Spirit and the wisdom of others in the realm of my body. Direct my steps as I follow your voice. Give me a plan for my health and the stamina to follow through as you direct me. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen