Last Saturday I was able by God’s Grace to celebrate my forty-sixth birthday! I was aware Saturday that while 46 isn’t necessarily old, it makes things more difficult physically than in your younger. But Tuesday this week reminded me in a very painful way!
While visiting a friend yesterday I walked down into his yard, and then hit a spot that was slippery. Suddenly my right leg shot out from underneath me and I fell to the ground! There wasn’t much pain after the fall itself so I felt as if everything would be all right. But about 7:00 last night I tried to get out of a chair and couldn’t stand!
Twisting my knee in the fall had either bruised it, or sprained it slightly, which caused it to swell. This condition (commonly called water on the knee) made my knee stiff so that it couldn’t bend properly. Thankfully after rest, some pain meds, and icy hot my knee is doing much better. But it was a good reminder that a fall which wouldn’t have affected me at all in my younger years has a great affect now.
This and other experiences about things being harder physically than in younger years leads to an important truth…..
You cannot serve God effectively if you aren’t healthy.
Missions involves lots of physical exercise (such as walking) and consistent energy that can do focused work for the entire day. This demands a strong body, mind, and willpower that flow out of a healthy lifestyle. The mistake many ministers (and Christians) make is emphasizing spiritual or mental health (here I refer to the understanding of Doctrine) and ignore their physical health.
They inevitably learn it’s kind of hard to serve the Lord when your tired all of the time.
The Lord in recent years has continually shown me the importance of healthy habits
- Like getting at least seven hours of sleep
- Exercising every day
- Eating on time (you don’t snack between meals)
- Starting a strength training program
- And eating lots of fresh vegetables
While the difference didn’t come overnight, i slowly but surely began feeling more energy and focus because of the healty eating, and daily exercise. This allowed me to become more effective in my daily ministry!
Sadly I got of track and gained quite a bit of weight :-). The good news is the Lord is helping me make my physical health important again by once again emphasizing healthy habits.
It is possible to serve the Lord while out of shape but it’s very difficult (trust me I tried). It’s far better to combine spiritual and mental health with physical health.