Fit Faith.

Square

By far, the winter months are the toughest to plow through as this part of the year seems to drag. The extra layers of clothing paired with the cold, dark days generate an aura of heaviness. The frosty weather can be a bully but I stubbornly make it a point to get outside in spite of the chill. I believe that exposure to the harsh elements plays a vital role in building resilience within the body and spirit. Thankfully, I manage to keep up with regular walks and shovel the snow without fail.

Proverbs 31:17. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.

Whether it’s +/- 30, God is always in control and He is not pleased when we moan and groan. Only the Lord knows what needs to take place for the seasons to turn and we are in no position to grumble against His orders.  Life becomes less of an uphill battle when we surrender to God’s will. I still struggle but much less than before because Jesus matures my understanding so that I can go from victim to victor in spite of the circumstances.

Mark 2:17. On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

The worldview of wellness is motivated by monetary gain and a harmful preoccupation with self. The fitness industry rakes in billions from all types of equipment, supplements, meal plans, memberships, books, attire and other false endorsements. With such an exhaustive abundance of options one would think we are healthier and happier for it but no. There is an incessant promotion of inadequacy while so-called solutions are conveniently packaged for sale. They isolate and exploit vulnerabilities which are based on emotional and physical factors. This is accomplished by breeding unrealistic standards that inspire idolatry like youthfulness and impressive appearances.

1 Peter 3:3-4. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.

Isaiah 40:30-31. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

They’ve intentionally weaponized, psychological warfare and it works like a charm. Consequently, the issues continue to mount while society sinks further into an abyss of hopelessness.

Proverbs 13:12. Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.

The pandemic is a perfect example of how far removed we are from our senses. All day long, the media spreads panic and stress that assists in breaking down our immune responses. Rather than advocate the importance of eating well, being active and mentally sound they focus on the death toll like it’s a sports score. Suddenly, there’s this sick obsession with dying as if people weren’t dropping like flies around us all the time before the virus hit. Now, the eagerness to be injected with an unknown, barely tested vaccine has become the light at the end of the tunnel.

1 John 2:15.  Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.

Our Father who created us knows precisely what we need and that includes no fear from death. The primary reason why Jesus went to the cross is to defeat the enemy. Through belief in the Resurrection, we are no longer captives held in bondage but free from all oppression.

Hebrews 2:14-15. Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.

Within two years, I got to witness and touch the lifeless bodies of dearly departed family members (mother and brother) and I’m not scared to die. Truly, I look forward to being out of here when my time is up and the Lord calls me home. Even if I was presented with the opportunity to stay forever, I’d still opt to vacate. Physical death is a clever exit strategy and I’m grateful for the certainty that there will be an end to this place.

In 2019, I underwent a routine surgery and had to be put to sleep. Soon as the mask was on my face and in the blink of an eye, I was out. I can only imagine this is what passing away will be like. I’ve concluded that the anticipation of our impending demise is more troubling than the event itself.

2 Corinthians 5:8. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.

In the meantime, I need to live and make consistent attempts to preserve my faculties. In the Bible, God clearly establishes the priorities by which we must abide in order to reap the greatest benefits. First and foremost, it begins with a genuine relationship with Him. It’s not about adhering to a list of legalistic rituals and you’re magically golden.

Proverbs 3:7-8. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.

There’s an urgent call to turn hearts and minds to the Lord’s righteousness and not to our good works. At all times, He alone must be sufficient for our sustenance because God’s sovereignty always rules. He simply wants us to recognize and choose Him in all that we do.

1 Corinthians 10:31. So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

The physical and spiritual aspects overlap as the body is a vessel and it houses the spirit.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20. Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

The best way to honour God is to take care of the temple He has provided and to be a light in the world. Through loving surrender, we are edified and life takes on new, exciting proportions. Inevitably, troubles and suffering will come but we have the assurance that His faithfulness will never cease.

Proverbs 17:22. A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

We need to take care of the body but it should not be the center of attention. The flesh is corrupted and perishing but the spirit is eternal. The shape of our frame must not take precedence over the condition of our character.

1 Timothy 4:8. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.

The world could be on fire but a heart that worships God is in continual thanksgiving. We receive this glorious gift when Jesus sits on the throne.

1 Thessalonians 5:18. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

As much as humanly possible, I thank God for everything from microscopic cells to the Universe. The offering of praise for the simplest things reforms our entire outlook and blessings never stop.

Proverbs 16:24. Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

We are precious in the sight of the Lord and lack nothing. There is no product or idea that someone can sell to convince me that it will increase my worth. I already know who supplies each breath and makes my paths straight.

Psalm 139:14. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

Amen.