Let’s face it. Our society idolizes health.
Who doesn’t want to be healthy?!? It feels good. It looks good. We may pursue it in a myriad ways. Whether we count calories or chemicals, believe in pharmaceuticals or essential oils, vegan or paleo, yoga or crossfit. Yada yada. Blah de blah. Even if you’re the opposite of a health nut, you still want your body to function and give you as little trouble as possible. However we plan to achieve it, we want to have bodies that look good and never get sick, right?
As parents, the pressure to be healthy is compounded. We want to be full of energy and live a good long life with our kiddos. And we want them to have a blissful, pain free childhood and longevity as well.
And we’re responsible for making that happen.
We’ve got to keep them active, feed them the best diet, give them outstanding supplements, protect them from injury.
And every kid has their own unique health concerns and crisis.
My boys are terrible sleepers. Like, terrible. I’ve tried everything. Yes. Everything. I read the books, I’ve bought the gadgets. I cried. They cried.
Every few days, I would think I’d finally found the answer. “This is the missing link! All our problems will be solved!” When each idea eventually crashed and burned, I would become MORE obsessed with finding the solution. I nearly lost my mind trying to figure out why. (We still don’t sleep. I haven’t slept through the night in four years!)
Sometimes I was a little more levelheaded.
With my son’s SPD, I knew that there wasn’t going to be a magic bullet to erase our troubles. But subconsciously, I’d bought the lie that if I were a better mom, if I DID more, WORKED harder, got my ACT TOGETHER; Loopy would be alright. Those thoughts continue to bring me heartache.
I CANNOT be alone in my preoccupation with my family’s health. (Please tell me I’m not alone!)
Health is a great thing. It’s a blessing.
But it’s not the ultimate.
God has been showing me how often I turn good into bad by elevating the gift above the Giver. I have made things like family, ministry and health an idol.
Whoa whoa whoa. AN IDOL?
Let me explain. An idol is anything that we serve, long for, or prioritize over God himself. In her book “Idol Lies”, Dee Brestin says most idols of the heart fall into three broad categories:
I’m tempted in all three of those areas to make health an idol. I want control of my life; and as anyone who has ever had a child throw up on them will tell you, sickness is pandemonium. I want the approval of others; to have people marvel at my self control and efforts, illness is humbling. But most of all I want comfort; to live my life at ease, pain is suffering.
When we chase after things to meet those needs, even good things, we are bowing to a false “god.” And we can’t just recognized the hollowness of our idols and cast them aside. We’ll just find some other false hope to chase. We must worship something. Our hearts were made to pursue. Only God can fulfill those longings in us.
I want to make a note that my family has been blessed in the health department. The world is full of people in chronic pain. Parents who don’t know how long their little ones can hang on. I do not want to presume that if I were in a similar situation, that I would be content in it. I don’t know all the emotions that would rage through me.
But this I do know.
This I will preach to myself, whatever my life brings:
God is GOOD. God is ENOUGH.
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