By Contributing Writer, Yvonne Harink
How easy it is to become anxious about our health. We are faced with a host of different views and opinions about what is best for us, what foods we should eat, what kinds of water to drink, the best exercise program we need, how many hours of sleep we should have, what vitamin supplements we need (if we need any at all), which oils are essential, which vaccines we will take… the list goes on.
As my mother always said, “Learn to be your own doctor. Don’t buy into every idea a health professional tries to sell. Do your own research, use common sense, and make up your own mind.”
Most of us are waking up to the truth that the mainstream health care system is largely driven by the pharmaceutical companies who have a vested interest in having us believe that there is a chemical pill to cure every ill.
Doctors are trained to prescribe a pill for everything from viruses to sadness to learning problems. In spite of a health care system unlike any thing before in history, we are witnessing a host of new auto-immune diseases, degenerative diseases, epidemic depression, large-scale obesity and general malaise
Then, there is the alternative, holistic medicine movement. While it is asking a lot of the right questions and has to be given credit for coming up with helpful insights in the field of nutrition and natural healing, it still is a flawed system of thought, as it is fueled by New Age Spirituality which is basically a return to ancient paganism.
The challenge for Christians today is to rebuild a true theology and science of medicine. It’s time we wake up to the fact that evolutionary beliefs, which see man as little more than a biochemical machine, will lead to deadly mistakes in thinking and practice. This philosophy today is directing the killing of the unborn, the euthanizing of the elderly, the redefinition of sexuality and gender, and increasingly, the push to infanticide.
Our thinking about medicare and the art of healing has everything to do with seeing man as a whole person, created by a personal, infinite, sovereign God. To understand our condition, its critical that we understand the Fall into sin, and subsequent restoration by our Lord Jesus Christ.
Rev. Joe Boot writes an excellent article (download here: http://www.ezrainstitute.ca/ezrainstitute_ca/bank/pageimages/jubilee_2012_spring.pdf) in which he says:
In the English language the word health comes from the old English root hal which means ‘whole.’ The words holiness, wholeness, health, and healing all have a common root. The whole person is one in whom all parts are in perfect harmony, working together properly. Health then is an aspect of salvation. The Latin word salve from which we derive our English word salvation, likewise has at its root the word health – so salvation is total health of body and soul, which culminates in the resurrection (Phil. 3:21)
In the Christian tradition the doctor has had a priestly role and vocation in bringing care and treatment to the sick. God made us to be whole persons. We are a mysterious unity of body, mind, heart, soul and spirit. We are driven by bodily needs, love and security needs, and most of all, by our need for God.
Doctors have long known that fear, anxiety, and worry are the greatest threat to good health. They know that this state puts poisonous toxins into our system that can literally kill us. At least eighty percent of our diseases are said to be attributed to stress related problems.
While it is our Christian duty to care for our bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit, and while we are called to learn about proper nutrition, sleep, exercise, relaxation, etc., we should always bear in mind that the whole is more than the sum of its parts. There is a mystery to our health that a humanist will not be able to explain. For our bodies to function properly we need above all the forgiveness of sins, and we need to be able to forgive those who have sinned against us. We need to pray to God to thank him and praise him.
Singing praises to God is still the best way to release endorphins, which are powerful hormones that when released into our blood stream bring health and vitality to our cells and organs.
In your search for health and healing, don’t forget the Psalms. As good nutrition brings health to the body, so the Word of God brings health to the whole person, which does include the body. While every part of Scripture is inspired and profitable for instruction, God gave us the book of Psalms as a special gift.
Found at the center of the Bible, it is really the heart of the Word. The Psalms were written to give us comfort and assurance. Read them, pray them, sing them, memorize them. For me, the most helpful thing has been to sing them at the dinner table every day, with our family devotions. While we only sing a stanza or two at a time, we sing the same stanza over for a week, until it is memorized. Maybe this is just a start, but it helps me to think God’s thoughts after him, trust him, and to praise him daily.
Because thy trust is God alone,
Thy refuge is the Highest One;
No evil shall up on thee come,
Nor plague approach thy guarded home.
(Psalm 91, verse 1, Psalter Hymnal version)