Friday, January 12 2024
For you yourself created my inmost parts;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
Doctors often give us the advice that we need to listen to our bodies in terms of our physical (including mental!) health. But this weekend in the readings, I sense that God is asking us to listen to our bodies in terms of our spiritual health. Our spiritual life and our physical life are always connected, each part is what makes us human beings. Perhaps we think more often of how our physical life impacts our spiritual life and rarely about how our spiritual life impacts our physical health. This is, of course, a two way street that should be heavy with traffic because they are so well connected.
So how does our spiritual life impact our physical life? Our lives are influenced daily by the world around us. I think we understand how and when this occurs, and certainly I’ve preached here already on this topic. When we sin, Paul teaches, our bodies are affected. And as the Psalmist declares, our God knows everything about us. Like the members of our prayer shawl ministry pray over their shawls, God knitted us together in our mother’s womb and prayed over us, declaring who we are. “Your eyes beheld my limbs, yet unfinished in the womb; all of them were written in your book.” (Ps. 139:15a) Yet the world is alright with using you and me and discarding the rest. Our careers, our schedule, the media, heck even church if not properly prioritized (i.e., know when to say yes and when to say no), can all have negative effects on our physical health.
To remember we are God’s can be a daunting task because we may feel like we do not need him. But we are not ours only, we are not only our parent’s child, we are children of God. We are God’s own; our bodies are meant to be loved and cared for by Him. They are temples to be used for God’s glory who gives us the strength to endure. No spiritual life is perfect, but when regular rhythms of prayer and reflection are introduced, they absolutely play a part in one’s physical and mental restoration.
You want to know your body and soul better? Seek God and all these things will be added unto you.