Whenever we pause, which we don't do enough, we have to realize that the body is a miracle. If I was to ask you to take your hand and squeeze it tightly and then release it, and then do it again seventy-two times a minute, within five minutes, your hand would be tired. It's a miracle that the heart is doing that every hour of every day of every week of every month of every year your entire life.
To think that it's pumping blood through your veins and arteries, carrying oxygen and nutrients throughout your body. While staying in your circulatory system, it stays fluid, but as soon as you cut yourself, it clots. That's a miracle that we take for granted every time we cut ourselves. We don't realize how fragile a mechanism that is, and how many proteins are involved in that cycle.
We also can recognize it when we have disorders of coagulation. When blood clots within the circulatory system, we have pulmonary embolisms, deep vein thrombosis, heart attacks, and strokes. And when blood doesn't clot when you're cut, you can bleed to death. These are life-threatening conditions.
Our lives and health are beautiful, but fragile, and we need to cherish them.
Cause for Worship
When we think of the good gift of health, and how miraculous our bodies are, it should lead us to worship. It should also lead us to incredible gratitude for this beautiful body that we've been given. We should then learn how to cherish and nurture it, because it's a fragile thing.
G.K. Chesterton said that "life is as bright as diamond and as brittle as a window pane." Our lives and health are beautiful but fragile, and we need to cherish them.
A Better Standard
It's very important that we don't limit health to an externally defined standard. If we only define health in relation to some outside definition or standard of beauty or strength, we would severely limit what health really is.
One of the healthiest people I know is named Randy. He has cerebral palsy, he's in a wheelchair which he can move a little with his hands, but that he mostly moves with voice activation. I recently got a call from him and he lifted my spirits. He asked me if I could donate some money toward an inner-city ministry charity walk. How is he in a walk? He takes his electric wheelchair, goes 5 or 10 kilometers, and raises $10 or $20 thousand for the ministry.
Then he asked how I was doing and asked me for some biblical advice for a struggle he was facing. He encouraged my faith and offered to pray for me and told me he loved me. He does this to everybody. He has very limited health from an external standard, but he's actually one of the healthiest people I know. I think it's because he recognizes his health as a gift, and he uses it as best he can.
Health and life are good gifts—in a society that tends to idolize good health—they are secondary goods. God is the absolute good. Health is the secondary good given to us so that we might joyfully live the way God has created us, and to give back by doing the good works that God has created us to do. To live joyfully and serve creatively is the true way to enjoy health. Otherwise, it becomes an idol.
There's much that we can do to have influence over our health, but in reality, we have no control at all.
When God chose to come to the world embodied in Jesus Christ, he accepted life with all of its limitations.
Health care, while being a good gift from God, actually becomes unhealthy when we rely too heavily upon it.