James 1-5If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
Reflect: Early on, working with my doctor to get to a diagnosis for occasionally crippling arthritic pain, I began to notice a relationship between what I consumed and when a flare-up would occur. For example, if I ate shellfish, I would have a flare-up. No big deal. I liked shrimp, but not more than pain, so I eliminated shellfish from my diet. Next, I began to recognize that alcohol did the same thing to me. I tried to mask the symptoms through a combination of doctor-prescribed medicines and home remedies. They helped, but didn't completely work. My wife knew when I'd had drinks while out of town because I'd be limping off the plane.
Some years later, on a camping trip, I was sitting around the campfire with family. We told stories, laughed, and drank beer. I was halfway through my beer when I started to feel the joint pain digging in. It was cold, though, so I switched to hot coffee with a shot of liquor to stay warm. I went to sleep that night, only to wake up a few hours later in agony. I made a decision immediately to stop drinking.
I wish it had stopped there because, a few years later, I began to recognize in myself a relationship between sugar and my pain. I liked beer, and gave that up for the hope of being pain-free. Now I had to consider giving up sugar? It just wasn't fair, but I gave it a shot. The experiment has turned out great so far, as I eliminated sugar, medications, and most important: the pain.
React: I gave up foods that I liked to eliminate physical pain. Consider what you're currently allowing into your life. Where have you not wanted to make the connection between a difficulty you're experiencing and your actions? Change is hard, but nothing happens until you start.
Pray: Lord, give me the wisdom to identify where I've been hurting myself and the courage and strength to make changes.
By a team of volunteers from EastLake Church