Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1
What we don’t see matters more than what is glaringly obvious. Battling weight issues has taught me much over the years. Made in the image of God, we human beings have three parts as well: body, soul and spirit. For health, all of those parts must work together. Weight and health are body issues that have helped me delve down to glimpse deep truths! (You’ll find the physical world info at the end of this if you are interested…spiritual stuff always interests me more.) At my age, dieting for appearance sake does not captivate my attention. Serious health concerns help me listen up, but understanding eternal truths is what gets me excited and keeps me focused over the long-term.
Type II diabetes seethes through my family health history. Recently, I spent some time learning about the hidden processes of diabetes. While I knew my eating and exercise habits allowed me some control over the disease, it shocked me to learn that my eating habits literally changed the physical processes in my body. A light bulb went off for me: The longer I choose to ignore the needs of my body—and the God-designed purposes of food—the greater the damage I cause to myself. My body is designed to utilize food and even enjoy occasional treats; it is not designed to do whatever it desires. Repeatedly stressing my body with excess foods damages the actual function of my body. Whole-health demands that balance in the body, soul and spirit!
Discovering hidden processes is the first step to understanding and personal growth. We are not at the mercy of our habits, our family inheritances or our culture. As Christians privileged to have the very Spirit of God dwelling in the center of our being, we can exercise dominion over all that! We are designed as human beings to be directed by the Holy Spirit—from the inside out. When we fail to live that way, natural law kicks in and outside in consequences help us seek a better way! We are to deny ruling power to our physical bodies, lusts, habits and even generational curses.
Heartaches, anger, and earthly battles seek to direct our thoughts, emotions and even actions. Those feelings and actions become habits that can dig trenches of pain into our souls. Just as repeated times of elevated insulin convince our bodies this is the ‘new normal,’ poor habitual responses to trouble eat at our souls. Efforts to escape the pain without treating underlying issues bring more destruction. A change of diet and activity reverses negative trends but long-standing patterns often necessitate a multi-faceted approach.
The Spirit, aided by tools such as the Word, other Christians, and circumstances, shines the Light of God into our troubles to show the way through them. As we walk in the ways of the Word (in faith of His goodness), we become reflectors of His light instead of reactors to the world. We enjoy the peace of His presence and the victory of faith. His Light begins a healing process in our dark places. It may not change the actual circumstances but the pain eases as Christ enters the suffering with us. The love we absorb from Him then flows into our world bringing healing to others.
Just in case you might be interested, here’s what started me on the info above :).
Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight has always been a struggle for me. As part of a family of diabetics, age intensifies the struggle and the concern. Physical activity is the easiest control device for me. Being active fits my personality. Greater challenges to my weight come from a love of eating (and a tendency to indulge that love!), poor time management and emotional stressors. I consciously need to remind myself to use food for right purposes. While I’m still working on that, lately my battle has been different.
To reverse the climbing scales, I enlisted a computer program to monitor my food intake. Despite keeping the calorie count in line, my weight held firm. Even more shocking, the breakdown of my diet into carbohydrates, sugars, vitamins and proteins revealed a poor nutritional profile. Hidden sugars (mostly from white flour products and fruit, seldom sweets) bumped my sugar intake well above healthy levels. That was an ‘ah ha’ moment for me: this weight issue is more than calories in, calories out! Clearly, hidden processes were at work in my body. I went sleuthing and find some interesting physical facts—and fascinating spiritual parallels.
A very non-technical summary of my physical ‘finds’ is that excess sugar in the blood stream triggers the release of insulin. Insulin then acts as a ‘street sweeper’ cleaning the blood by stuffing everything in fat cells and ‘locking’ the cell door. Once the pattern is established, the body perpetuates the system and healthy realignment (including weight loss) becomes difficult. As I began to learn the hidden processes affecting my weight, the reality that the truth of hidden processes applies to personal habits, family legacies and even cultural mores excited me! While I am still trying to work my new knowledge into my nutritional arsenal, I must admit the inter-personal stuff fascinates me far more.