Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Starvation Diet

If you've followed the Sam stories, you know that his much-loved wife, Jamie, died back in October. They were married sixty years, so life without her has been quite an adjustment. 

Learning to prepare nutritious meals has been hard for Sam, and, after a while, it was more trouble than it was worth to him. It was no surprise to me when he lost even more weight. It was no surprise to me that he suffered the effects of poor nutrition. He had almost quit eating. "More trouble than it was worth," he'd say.

After a while, to my experienced-physician eye, it was obvious that he was on a starvation diet, and equally obvious that it threatened to take his life. I cajoled. Helped him find easy meals. Sent food home with him.

Finally, I did the only thing that would help. I began to prepare his meals and watch him eat. When we started this latest chapter, Sam probably thought I was being a bully. He complained that I was forcing him to eat too much. He wasn't hungry. He felt too full. On and on.

Yesterday, however, made all the struggle worthwhile. Sam pulled into my driveway just after I returned home from the prayer vigil. We've progressed to the point that I had prepared meals and sent them home with him. He'd eaten every meal that was scheduled while I was away. Every bite. 

"I'm feeling so much better since you started making me eat like this. I didn't know food mattered so much. I thank you for what you're doing for me."

It was obvious he's better. He's gained nearly four pounds. His dizziness and weakness are better. Stamina is improving. Complaints are decreasing.

Sam understands now that a starvation diet will kill you, and it will make you feel awful before it does.

A starvation diet of spiritual food will hurt us just as much, but we often fail to realize it. If we deprive ourselves of the Word of God, sound Biblical teaching, fellowship with other believers, and service to those in need, it has an insidious, but steadily progressive effect.

If we want to be physically healthy, we must have a diet that includes protein, carbohydrates, and fat in balanced proportions. If we want to be spiritually healthy, we need a balanced diet, as well. Bible study. Teaching. Fellowship. Service. 

Bible study alone, without fellowship and service, is good, but it's not enough. To live as Jesus lived, we have to serve the people He served, as well. The sick. The lost. The worst sinners around. 

How's your diet going? Are you getting all you need for your spiritual health? If not, maybe you need to make some adjustments. Rearrange your schedule to allow more time for the things that matter most. Look outside yourself for those in need.

Let's aim to be healthy so we can live long and productive lives, not just physically, but spiritually as well. 

"For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice, have their senses trained to discern good and evil." Hebrews 5:13-14 nasb
In case you missed it, here are links to the most recent series: 
#starvation #healthydiet #Biblesudy #disciple