Call to Prayer

“Dear friend, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, just as it is well with your soul.” 3 John 2 (NET)

From John’s last letter recorded in the Bible, John prays that his dear friend Gaius enjoys good health. Of course, John wants things to be well with Gaius’ soul, but he seems to assume that. Now John is praying that his friend enjoys good health.

Apparently we need to keep praying John’s prayer. Just today I read a 2007 study that found that only 3% of Americans eat healthfully, engage in regular physical activity, maintain a healthy weight, and do not smoke. Unfortunately, I doubt that statistic has changed much in the he past 7 years. Childhood obesity in the U.S., of course, has also steadily risen from around 5% in 1971 to 16% or more in 2010.  Based on those statistics alone, the prospect of America enjoying good health is slim.  (No pun intended.)

Jesus tells us to fear the evil one who can destroy the soul more than we fear one who can destroy only the body (see Matthew 10:28). Why? Because our soul is the only part of us that carries over to the other side of life; because our soul and it’s relationship with God is of utmost importance.

However, on this side of life, God has made us in His image — triune. He has made us body, mind and soul. (See SHEMA entry, April 3, 2014).  And I deeply believe He wants us to steward and care for each aspect. (E.g., I doubt you would ever agree with me if I said our minds were of little importance to God or our journeys on earth ….). He has given us amazing gifts wrapped our own bodies!

So would you join me in praying for our friends, our relatives and our country: not only that all might be well with their souls, but also that they may enjoy good health.

Advertisements

Rest

“[The Lord] grants sleep to those He loves.” Psalm 127:2 (NIV)

We rarely think of rest as a crucial part of our fitness regiment … but it is. Built into the fabric of every aspect of ourselves is the need to rest, and that includes our health.

Weight trainers know that they need to rest a muscle group for one to two days before they work that same muscle group again. The muscles need time to rest and to heal before they can be worked again effectively. (See discussion of muscle growth in August, 17, 2014 entry). Runners know that after a long race (and the season of training preceding it), their body needs to rest and recover before they should compete again. Training always needs to be balanced with rest.

Other parts of our body operate similarly. After long periods of study or problem-solving, our minds need a break — it need a rest from that activity. When we are sick or overextended, sometimes the best thing we can do is literally take a nap! (Even God rested on the seventh day after six days of creating! See Genesis 2.)

And so it is with our souls. Sometimes we are doing some heavy-lifting in our souls. Sometimes we are in marathon-seasons of our life. Sometimes, especially at those times, we desperately need to be replenished and restored. Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28 NIV)

Are you getting enough rest?