Healing Through Food

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There is more to the subject of healing. Forgiveness is a one-time event. When we receive forgiveness from God, our issues are purged clean, like if we get cancer, and the cancer is successfully removed. The core issue is addressed, but healing is more than the surgery that removes the cancer. Healing takes time. And proactive action.

The idea of food as medicine is well established in Chinese culture. We have traditional claims to healing through certain foods. Regardless of whether we believe in these claims, the reality is that we need good food to heal well. Cancer patients are constantly urged to eat even if they do not feel like doing so. Unless we eat, we will not heal. Even if we are not recovering from healing, staying well requires us to eat well.

Feeding of God’s holy Word is essential for our healing. As much as healthy people need to eat to stay healthy even when they are not recovering from some health crisis, we need the Word of God. It is food. It is also food as medicine.

Have you seen pictures of people who are anorexic? They have convinced themselves the food they see is not good enough. I was in casual conversation with this woman who had constant issues with anorexia, and she kept remarking this is “empty calories”, that is “empty calories.” There is some truth to the charge that many food we see are empty calories, meaning they provide calories without protein, vitamins, or minerals. (For example: sugar, tapioca, poor quality oil). But the criticism of “empty calories” comes from someone who does not even consume calories! Even empty calories provide energy. They just fail to provide beyond energy. Should food that is not the best become an excuse not to eat?

Unfortunately, we have spiritual anorexics who can never hope to heal from the spiritual brokenness or even maintain their spiritual health because they buy in to the criticism of some that this or that Bible version is not the best. Perhaps it is the excuse that this or that preacher is not interesting enough.

Let’s assume for a moment that all these criticisms are true. So what is our response? Do we sneeze at these “empty calories” and neglect our own spiritual feeding? Reading any Bible is better than not reading any. Just like eating any food is better than not eating any food.

To be sure, we strive to give you the best possible spiritual food. Your time at worship is short. And even though we are supposed to feed on God’s Word daily, many people eat only once a week when we come to worship on Sunday. So the preacher tries to give you the best possible spiritual food.

The best spiritual food on Sunday, even if you gorge yourself on it, can scarcely keep you through the week. We need much more calories, even empty calories is better than no calories. But I would like to introduce you to good calories during the week. It is essential for our health and especially vital for our healing.

My personal favorite spiritual food are the Bibles on phone apps. And the ideal is YouVersion of Bible by Life. It allows me to access various versions, I can choose to download many of them if I want to. I can even have different languages including Chinese. I can change the font size to reduce the strain on my eyes. And when I am feeling lazy, I can have the text read to me (in some versions). I can highlight (and undo highlight) and make notes (and delete them) and they will stay with my account. I stopped making notes in my hardcopy Bibles because they wear out and my notes are gone. This phone Bible does not wear out and my notes do not disappear.

I’ll take a version and read through the Bible in that version and then start on another version. If you don’t know which ones to start with, I suggest you do it in this order: NLT, NIV, ESV. This is because the NLT is the easiest to read. The app has many reading plans. Pick any one and have fun going through it. And when you hit a tough spot like Leviticus, you can do one of two things. Go really slow and try to take it all in, or more realistically, go really fast and move on to the most interesting parts.

Our brokenness cannot heal unless we feed on the Word of God. There is no short cut. And when we feed on God’s word, what starts out as discipline soon becomes a delight. We read God’s Word because we need it; and eventually, we read God’s Word because we delight in it.

Pastor Peter Eng

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