Monday, February 11, 2013

What's Wrong With Me!...No More Perfect Bodies

Fibromyalgia, arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, obesity, an ulcer, a knee-replacement, bipolar disorder, migraines, kidney stones, and dozens of minor issues I deal with on a daily basis. That's what's wrong with me. Looked at in one clump like that it could be a little depressing. But praise God, this litany of ails does not define me. He does.

I tend to selfishness, to laziness. I think God allowed me to have these pain conditions knowing they would make or break me spiritually.  They definitely draw me nearer to Him! When the Great Physician looks at me, He does not see a bundle of ailments; He sees my heart. Thoughts, emotions, motives, HEART.  That's all about Him: loving, knowing, serving Him in this world and spending eternity with Him in the next.

In "No More Perfect Bodies" Jill reminds us we were "bought at a price" (cf 1 Cor 6:19-20). Our bodies belong to God. They are the home of the Holy Spirit. It is a stewardship issue to take care of them. This is a message I needed to hear.  I hear "lose weight and exercise" from so many different avenues that I just greet it with an eye roll now. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Eat less. Move more. Got it. Yawn.  But stewardship?  Actually managing my body like I manage my time, my money, my children's faith  formation? Hhhmmm. That's a concept of truth and I have some explaining to do.

It also occurs to me this body stewardship has other applications as well. You don't go into it to get to the ideal weight or to look a certain way for a certain person, but to get as healthy as you can be. In this manner you will be prepared for the next task God will call you to. Whatever mission He has in mind for you - you can go. I went on a mission trip to Haiti as a teenager; spent the first few days in a mountain village. Walked back down into St. Marc in my skirt in the heat, with my fat thighs rubbing together the whole way. Eight miles. I was in agony. Couldn't move on to the next village in my itinerary; had to stay in the orphanage that served as our home base. Had I been in better shape it wouldn't have happened. A stewardship issue determines whether you continue to serve where you are (which is good) or serve where you're called (which is better).

When God sees us through eyes of grace, He sees possibilities not liabilities. Tend to the heart before you tend to the body when you want to make a change because anything done without God is done in vain. He wants me to enjoy the gift of my body and take care of it.

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