In my last blog, I shared with you about an autoimmune disease that I have battled for a little over twenty years, and how I struggle to keep a Christ-centered perspective. One of the things that I have been very thankful for is that the Lord has brought medical professionals across my path to help me to deal with the problems that I face as a result of this condition that I have.
Managing autoimmune disease requires, it seems, constant attention. Over the years I have tried so many different approaches, and have been blessed with some excellent doctors who are willing to think outside the box with me (traditional medicine and expensive endocrinologists just do not work for me!).
Recently, I had a blood test done that pinpoints foods and other substances that cause the autoimmune response to flare up. I waited patiently for the results, because I had this fear that things that I really, really love would be on that list- in fact, the doctor’s office had to call me and ask me to come and pick up my test results! And, sure enough, the results came back with dozens of substances that I have to eliminate from my life- three of them my dearest life-long loves… bread, cheese, and chocolate (you will be relieved to know, as was I, that I don’t have to eliminate coffee).
Yes, I have given these things up, and no, it has not killed me! In fact, I have noticed after just a couple of weeks a really significant improvement in a couple of the worst symptoms.
When I have told people about this test and my resulting life changes, a lot of them have said something like, “Well, there’s no way I could give up chocolate (or bread or dairy).”
But the thing is this… these foods and substances are basically harmless, but they are slowly wearing my body down. They are impairing my health and my happiness. Essentially, they are killing me slowly and making me miserable along the way. Knowing that something, though harmless, is slowly destroying my body, makes it a lot easier to eliminate that something from my life. It takes courage, it takes willpower, and it takes constantly reminding myself that even though the choices I am making are difficult, they are for my ultimate good.
You know, there is a spiritual version of this test. That version requires that we examine our lives and our hearts in light of God’s Word, that we invite the Lord to search us and try us, and to show us those areas of our lives that need to be eliminated, cleaned up, or repaired.
God’s Word is full of instruction on how to live an abundant life. But just like my new life changes, these instructions have to be followed before we will see any good come from them. Sometimes it may not make sense to us, but once we start to apply God’s precepts, and we see how much better our lives are, it begins to make sense. And, just like these diet changes, it often takes courage and willpower to stand for the truth of God’s Word, to replace our own ways with His ways.
See it’s one thing to know the truth, it’s another thing entirely to dare to act on that truth.
I challenge you- take the risk of asking God to examine your life. Ask Him to show you how HE can make your life better, and ask Him to show you those areas of your life that need to change. Then when He, through His Word, shows you this truth, dare to act on it. You will be amazed at the difference it will make!