About a week ago I posted an article about the power of prayer and how my kids were sick and seemed to recover quickly after a prayer with each. But now it’s my turn to get sick. I got this sore throat thing that’s been lingering since last Friday. I’ve been taught that no request is too small for God. If you have a sore throat, pray for a quick recovery. When I pray for healing I usually include these words, “if it’s your Will Lord”. Healing may not be what I need at this moment. Yesterday I wasn’t able to make it to church and therefore had to stream the service from home.
After I initially prayed for the wife and me to have a quick recovery and healing, the next day, Saturday, we just got worse. Now I know God will answer my prayers if it’s in his will to do so. But if it’s not, he won’t. I ask myself, why would it not be in his will? I begin thinking about all those others who are dealing with something more serious, both young and old, who are praying themselves but still battling some type of sickness. I come up with 3 answers and I’m sure there are more.
- a. Sometimes when we’re sick we just need to let it run its course. Perhaps sickness is the result of my own choices or sin. If I spend a lifetime chain smoking, I can’t expect great results or God to come cleanse my lungs.
- b. God wants to teach me something.
- c. Maybe being sick is part of a greater plan in which we can never understand the why. If you were sick in the hospital and given a short time to live, and God came to you in a dream and gave you two choices; 1. Be healed and go back to your normal routine or 2. battle this disease for 3 months and die, yet through the 3 months a dozen lost people come to find and accept Jesus as a result of this unfortunate situation, who otherwise would have remained lost if it weren’t for you getting sick. Which road would you take?
Jesus once said,
In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” ~ John 15:10
So which one is it for me – a,b or c? I’ll never be certain of the answer, but I can give it some thought, pray for guidance, and make a guess. So let’s put this together from first to last.
- Grandma passes while at dialysis, a sad yet confident day.
- Kids got sick (one after the other)
- Prayed for kids, prayers were answered very quickly.
- That next week the Mrs and I get sick.
- Prayed that if it’s in his will to help us quickly recover.
- The sickness lingers (perhaps his answer is no for now)
- Due to sickness we had to stream church online last Sunday
- The lesson was titled “Food – Fitness | Fresh Start”
So now I am considering my health, my diet, my being 34 with about 40 extra pounds, my family history of both diabetes and heart problems. I begin to do some research…
Here’s the scary part. I can guarantee that I treat my body much worse than my grandparents did when they were my age. Did you know that 4% to 10% of all heart attack victims are under 45. According to the CDC, someone has a heart attack every 34 seconds. Each minute, someone in the United States dies from a heart disease-related event.
You could take an average of that percentage and guestimate that every 10 minutes someone in their 30s to 40s will have one. Can it happen to me? This year 920,000 Americans will suffer a heart attack. So Yes, It can. How about diabetes? I know it’s not a matter of will I become a diabetic, but when – If I carry on how I’ve been carrying on.
So I’m going to make a guess, God is trying to lead me to better health. This does make sense seeing that he is my father and wants the best for me. I wonder, would I be thinking along these lines if I wasn’t dealing with this long lasting cold and sore throat, the recent passing of my Grandma, the Sunday lesson I streamed? Can you see the irony in that alone, a streamed lesson on that subject of Food and Health from home while sick as a dog. If God answered my prayer and I was better by that next hour or that next day – would I be writing this article today? So that’s my guess. God wants me healthy.
So what am I going to do about it?
I’m going to get healthy but this time I am going to do it with God. There was a time I used to smoke. I tried to quit for myself numerous times. I also tried to quit for my kids and I tried quitting for my wife. I was never able to quit – until I brought God into it.
I think food is much harder than cigarettes and here’s why. Some of you may not get this, and some will. Could you imagine trying to quit the habit of smoking your pack a day, but in order to live you have to smoke 2-3 smaller cigarettes every day? Or what if every third commercial shown on TV had to do with smoking like it does food. Could you imagine the commercial… the new Ultimate Cigarette, and it shows this person taking a nice long slow-motion satisfying drag. And then you see the exhale. The actor looks so satisfied with the Ultimate Cigarette. Commercial ends with a sign reading 24 hour drive thru. You can get it any time you like. Have you ever seen a fast food commercial and said to yourself or out loud, “I GOTTA TRY THAT!”.
Addiction is a condition that results when a person ingests a substance or engages in an activity that can be pleasurable but the continued use/act of which becomes compulsive and interferes with ordinary life responsibilities, such as work, relationships, or health. Users may not be aware that their behavior is out of control and causing problems for themselves and others.
Sounds like I have an addiction. I’ve tried to make changes before on numerous occasions, but here I am – the same weight, the same energy. To be honest maybe I’m worse off than I was last year. I know I haven’t improved in this area. I need to quit some of the habits formed, but I cannot do away with it totally – because I need food. I need a lifestyle change. With that in mind, if it took bringing God into the battle with me to quit smoking. Seeing that food is a harder addiction than cigarettes, for me anyways, it’s going to take bringing God into it to change these eating habits and this lifestyle.
So How Did it Work With the Smokes?
When quitting cigarettes for the last time, I decided to quit for God. God had to come first, and then my family and myself. So if I’m doing something for God, what will it say to him about my faith and love for him if I don’t succeed? Do I even have the choice of not quitting now? I know this is pretty heavy but the way my brain worked back then brings this thought, do I truly love God if I cannot give up smoking for him. If I cannot quit, is that my choice to make smoking my God. If that’s the case, I’d better quit and I can never go back. Since I put it into this perspective I’ve been smoke free for nearly 8 years. Can I use this same pattern of thinking to acquire good health and fitness? How about using this idea in the other mountains in my life? Yes, but it’s a little different just for the fact that I love and trust him so much more these days than I did 8 years ago. Eight years ago, there was more fear and disobedience. So this time instead of using fear, I’ll be making these changes with God and to show God how much I truly love him. I want him to see me as an obedient disciple. I want to make him proud of me, much like a child does with their father.
Please say a little prayer for me as I begin the process of making these difficult changes in my life and may God bless you and be with you on the next goals you set for yourself.
To conclude this post, I would like to leave a few verses from Ephesians…
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.