Because of a number of health issues I confronted last year, I have been on a quest to understand the causes of illness, the God-ordained ways our bodies can heal, and to establish a balance between acquiring health to serve God and serving God to acquire health. The book of Ecclesiastes speaks to this.
For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow. (Ecclesiastes 1:18)
As I have studied about toxins, toxicity, and the consequences of a diet filled with processed foods, GMOs, and negative nutrition, I find it easy to become wrapped up in protecting myself from such dangers. New remedies and protocols arise, as do new threats to well-being. Yet, if battling such fearful things becomes my primary focus, I can easily slip into the mode of making my health an idol, and spend my time obsessing about which foods I should or should not be eating. This violates the Lord’s command to,
Take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Matt. 6:31–33)
I am not suggesting that we neglect our responsibility to treat our bodies well as temples of the Holy Spirit. I am suggesting that if this replaces our first responsibility to seek and serve the Kingdom of God in our various callings and roles, we have made an unrighteous choice. I know many who have given up the study of God’s law-word because health issues (for themselves personally or family) have dominated their time. The sad part is that they most decidedly need God’s law to determine if a course of treatment or a new protocol lines up with the Scriptures.
It is too easy in the pursuit of health and vitality to forget that they are means by which we can more effectively serve the Kingdom. That said, there are times in God’s providence that He has afflicted His people with disease, handicaps, or other such maladies. We must embrace His plan (while trying to improve our situation) as we continue in our Kingdom work. To do otherwise places our priorities above the Lord’s. I have witnessed some of the most compelling examples of people sharing the gospel in the midst of horrendous health struggles. We must resolve to glorify God no matter what our situation is. As Job put it, “Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” (Job 2:10).
If we do not pursue all the challenges of our life with a vision of victory (1 John 5:5), knowing that we are more than conquerors (Rom 8:37), we are denying the reality that our Father in Heaven will never leave us nor forsake us (Heb. 13:5). We will discover that as our focus remains on furthering the Kingdom of God, solutions, assistance, and wisdom will find their way to us from our God as His loving gift to us (Jam. 1:17).
So whatever challenges you face, and as you pursue godly solutions to them, remember,
There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God. (Ecclesiastes 2:24)