I think many of us have a love-hate relationship with the internet. Perhaps especially when it comes to seeking information on physical health. The wealth of information is so very helpful and at times informative, but it can also overwhelm, misinform, or scare us.
My quest to solve my physical problems on my own (after reaching a dead end with my doctors) began eight years ago and was characterized by many nights spent researching instead of sleeping, many false hopes, some victories, and lots of confusion. I would find a protocol, technique, or diet that seemed to be a golden ticket to restored health, only to then find a conflicting argument that explained why it was ineffective.
I spent months poring over every relevant article, book, study, testimonial, photo, pin, comment, or video that might touch on my situation. I’m sure at some points I asked God for help. But my days were entirely absorbed in learning about natural healing. There was little of me left to pursue God. Research always seemed more pressing than quiet time. I had convinced myself I would “resume the rest of life” after I finally got my health on track.
The result of this season of research? I discovered new diet and lifestyle choices that rocked my world and did prove, over time, to defeat what I’d been told and restored my physical body. Many of these practices are fundamentals that still guide my family. I am grateful to have learned about natural wellness and I know that without the efforts of others who walked a similar path, I could still be seeking.
But my story doesn’t end there. After reflecting on my healing journey and experiencing more spiritual growth, I can see so many lessons learned and shortcomings on my part. I am overwhelmed by God’s grace, which always kept me forgiven, loved, and guided…even when I tried to completely remove my Savior from the driver’s seat of my life.
My journey was ultimately a battle of control. I had full confidence that if I could figure this puzzle out, healing would be mine. I knew there was an answer out there, and I told myself I wouldn’t rest until I found it, no matter how long it took or what I had to do to get there.
If I ever have the opportunity to coach others or one of my children through a similar journey, I hope to use what God taught me to help prevent some of my mistakes.
Here is what I know…
1. God gave us our bodies to house our spirits and His Spirit, as well as to be used for His service. We yield autonomy over to the Lord when we are redeemed by Him. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says, “Or do you not know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you were bought with a price: therefore, glorify God in your body.”
2. Sickness can prevent us from serving. Though it very well may be out of our control, illness can limit our ability to respond to needs we see or give of ourselves in the ways we would otherwise like to. In light of this, aiming for wellness can be perfectly in line with Christian living. Romans 12:1 exhorts us to “present [our] bodies as a sacrifice—living, holy, and pleasing to God, which is [our] spiritual service of worship.”
3. We should be wise and use knowledge well, but we are not in control of outcomes. Research is good and knowledge can build up, but we should never feel like there is a magic formula to achieving the outcome we hope for. God is sovereign and His will should be what we desire, even if that means trials. Jeremiah 10:23 says, “I know, O Yahweh, that a man’s way is not in himself, nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps.” And James 1:2-3 says, “Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith brings about perseverance.” Through the journey, regularly ask yourself, “How does God want to change me through this?”
4. We are mortal, we live in a fallen world, and our bodies are aging. But 2 Corinthians 4:16 encourages us that “though our outer man is decaying…our inner man is being renewed day by day.” We can’t stop age or decay, but we can have a gentler journey through healthy living!
5. God’s creation is abundant with nourishing and life-giving plants and foods that are for our good and our use. Even in the 21st century, researchers continue to discover “new” healing properties of plants. Making good use of God’s creation can help us to glorify Him and feel gratitude in new ways. It can be confusing to think that something as wholesome as an onion, for example, may be upsetting the body, but 1 Timothy 4:4-5 assures us that “everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.” We may need to give certain foods up for a time (or permanently, depending on the condition), but…
6. Stress, worry, and fear will undermine any healing we hope to achieve. The medical databases are full of the measured traumas of stress on the body. “Our soul is patient for Yahweh; He is our help and our shield” (Psalm 33:20). “For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7). “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6). Start to view food as medicine, eat to be well, and leave fear at the doorstep. God is our Healer; our hope is in Him!
Heavenly Father, help us in our weakness and frailty. Our bodies age and battle disease, but our permanent hope is in You. Please favor us by blessing our efforts to live healthy so we can better serve You, and keep our hearts tuned to the leading of your Holy Spirit. Help us to center our thoughts and desires around You, always. Amen.
* Join us for our "Let Food Be Thy Medicine Workshop" on May 20th, where Lisa will share her healing story and more. Be sure to register!
Lisa is a pastor's wife and homeschooling mom of 3 girls. She also dabbles in some accounting consulting, property management, online sales, and editing. Over the years, she has developed a passion for natural health and wellness and loves sharing her experiences with others! She always welcomes conversations about the body, nutrition, natural remedies, GI issues, and more. She praises God that fermentation starters from her kitchen now reside in thousands of other homes. These gifts are meant to share! Learn more at her website, Our Nourishing Home.