In case you've missed this week's entries, I've been tracing the steps of writer Tim Challies and his thoughts on guarding one's health. In his article, he used a phrase that summed up his core lesson in that when it comes to the body we need to present it, steward it, nurture it, and employ it. Tim writes,
"You need to nurture your body. There is an inseparable unity between body, mind, and soul. When you neglect your body, you will often find your soul heavy and your mind dark. But when you care for it, you tend to find your soul cheerful and your mind enlightened. You can see some of this in John’s prayer for his friend Gaius: “Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul” (3 John 2). For Gaius to be as active and effective as possible in God’s work, he must have a healthy body and a healthy soul. If you wish to tend to your soul and mind, you must nurture your body. To honor God in all that you are, you must eat well, exercise frequently, and rest regularly."
Reminds me of an excerpt from my latest book that some of you will recognize, but I think it fits with Tim's theme of nurture.
Before your very first day of school, or prior to getting your driver's license, and even before you began the family with which you spend your days...came your body. Not only did God inspire your soul's dream, but He gave you the body necessary to pursue the job. Since God will always equip us with what we need to accomplish His will, we know our bodies were His choice. Can you imagine the moment?
It was as if God said:
Sweet soul, here is your body. I've carefully woven it together. It has what it takes for you to pursue me and tell others about me. And oh precious body, this is your soul. Of all the matter in the universe, this is what matters most. Carry it where it needs to go. Protect it. Honor it. Now, I want you two to be good to each other. Be friends, not enemies.
So, do me a favor and take a quick glance at your arm or hands. Think for a second that God himself has touched that skin. He was first. In fact, talk to your body. It's okay, go ahead. Maybe you need to thank it. Perhaps you need to assure it. Or like me, maybe during your dark hour, you need to apologize. Could be for something you've knowingly done or for something out of your control -- an ailment, an accident maybe, or even a disease. But much like any friend going through a tough time, just tell it you're so very sorry. After all, it was God who knitted it and then breathed life into it. Miraculously, He gave your heart a knowledge that there is something more to this life than life. And like it says in our verse, in order to pursue Him and then share Him, He gave you a weak and fragile body. Oh, it may not last this earth, but you can rest assured it was indeed a match made in Heaven.
- Jimmy Peña
For Discussion: What do you need to do to nurture your health? I'd love to know your thoughts.