After being sick for the past two and a half weeks, I've had plenty of time to think about health. In times of frustration, I even thought about bargaining with God: "If you make me well, I will do more to be healthy." I stopped short of making the bargain because I fear failure. Maybe it's not really a fear, I just know from my past that I usually fail at this task.
And that's where my problem is: I depend upon myself and not the Lord. I'm learning that health has to do more with my total package: spirit, mind, and body. I am an emotional eater. I eat when I'm stressed, angry, and depressed. A vicious pattern occurs when I emotionally eat. I feel some emotion, so I eat to numb myself. Then I feel guilty for eating, and eat again. What's wrong with this picture? Aren't I, as a Christian, supposed to depend on the Lord for my strength and comfort? Instead, I take matters into my own hands, with disastrous results.
Here is what it looks like to depend on the Lord: Once I relay my feelings to the Lord, my mental state will change because my spirit feels peace. Once I feel peace, then I will no longer feel anxious and want to eat. I may still have some of the emotional energy left, but that is when I should go for a walk and pray.
I know, easier said than done. This is my thought though: Just as my vicious pattern of emotional eating became a habit, then after some conscious effort and lots of prayer, the new spiritual pattern should become a habit as well. The Word of God offers me hope: "Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established," (Proverbs 16:3). Also, Proverbs 16:9 says "The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps." You see, if I dedicate myself and my plans to the Lord, He will establish my path for me. One more bit of encouragment comes from Psalm 118:7: "The LORD is on my side as my helper."
Health to me is no longer the idea of looking great in a pair of skinny jeans. Rather it is being physically, mentally, and most importantly spiritually healthy in the Lord. It is allowing myself to feel my emotions and handle them in a spiritually mature manner. A mountainous journey lies ahead, but I know the Lord will not only set my path for me, He will be there every step of the way, helping me overcome my obstacles.