When I was in my early 20s, I had an experience with my car that I never want to repeat.
What I learned is relevant to protecting our health today.
I was driving my old Toyota Corolla and a warning light came on. I didn't think too much of it. I knew the light meant that my car needed oil, but I figured I would get to it later.
About one month later, I noticed the warning light was still on. I thought to myself, "I really need to take care of that." I went to the store and bought the correct oil. I put it into the trunk, intending to pour it into the oil tank later.
However, I promptly forgot about it. I continued to drive the car.
The warning light stayed on.
I didn't realize then that the warning light represented mercy—an opportunity to make things right.
Many months later, I was driving up the interstate after visiting my mother. The car seemed to handle as normal. But then, it made a loud knocking noise. Suddenly, smoke started billowing from under the hood.
In a panic, I pulled off the highway and stopped the car. I hurried out of the car and lifted the hood. The thick, grey smoke poured out all the more, making me cough.
What I did next was almost comical.
I ran to the trunk, grabbed the oil bottle I had purchased those many months ago. I opened the oil tank and poured the oil in.
But the oil only ran through the engine and straight to the ground underneath.
It was too late.
I'd destroyed my car engine.
Rather than spending a few minutes putting oil that only cost me $5 into the car, I ended up spending hours in the repair shop, getting a new engine that cost me about $2,000.
It was a hard lesson to learn.
Yet for years, I didn't connect the lesson I learned about the car to my own body.
For years, I neglected to put the correct fuel into my body. I continued to run my body as normal.
I ignored warning lights such as:
- Skin breakouts
- Mood swings
- Anxiety and depression
- Low energy
- Excess fat on my body
- Shortness of breath
- A diagnosis of hypertension
Well, actually I didn't ignore them entirely. Just like the warning light in my car, I would tell myself "I really need to take care of that." I would make an effort to address the issue for a couple of weeks, but then something would happen to make me lose focus.
Suddenly, other things in life became more important than handling my body's warning lights.
However, one day, my body gave me a warning signal I could no longer ignore.
I had a chest pain that was so excruciating, I thought I was having a heart attack.
Although the pain passed after I took a long rest, hearing God's voice in the midst of the pain got my attention. He said, "It is not supposed to be this way."
His message was clear. I needed to take care of my body right now.
Paying attention to my body's care is not optional. After all, it is the vehicle that God gave me to travel through life.
If I did not take a few minutes to invest in my body's daily maintenance tasks now, then it could cost me days in doctor's and hospital visits, plus thousands of dollars in medications and health interventions later.
Not to mention the pain and disability that diseases cause.
Now, I am grateful for the warning my body gave me. That pain could have been the end of me. Instead, through God's great mercy, it gave me more time to get things right.
I do not believe the Lord wants us to spend our senior years of life weak, sick, and infirm.
I believe Psalm 92:13-15 is God's will for us:
Those that are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be filled with vitality and foliage, to show that the Lord is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him (Ps. 92:13-15).
God has already done His part; Psalm 107:20 says,
"He sent His word and healed them and delivered them from their destructions."
But to experience healing in our lives, we need to attend to his Word daily (read it, hear it, meditate upon it, pay attention to it) and most importantly, do what God's Word says.
If you only read it, then it becomes just like that oil in my trunk. While I had the oil, I didn't apply the oil where it would help me!
So my question to you today is, "Is your body displaying warning lights?"
Is your body talking to you?
And here is the most important question of all, "Are you listening and responding?"
Once 240 pounds and a size 22, Kimberly Taylor can testify to God's healing power to end binge-eating. She is an author and the creator of the Christian weight-loss website takebackyourtemple.com. Visit today for inspirational health and weight-loss tips.
This article originally appeared at takebackyourtemple.com.
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