In his book, How the Mighty Fall, Jim Collins frames an event with profound meaning. In August of 2002, he and his wife went for an impressive run in the mountains near Aspen, Colorado. They began at altitude of 8000 feet and would ascend to 13,000 feet! Running a trail through trees at 11,000 feet, he owns the fact that he’s not the runner his wife is and starts to walk. She powers on. As he emerges from trees, he can see her red sweatshirt far out in front, above the tree line, ascending up the switchbacks. In that moment, she was a picture of complete strength. However, only two months later she’d be diagnosed with cancer and require a double mastectomy. Just when she looked like a picture of health, she was already carrying the cancer.

It seems that the criteria we use to determine our own health will impact the way we see our need for help & seek the cure that God alone can provide.

When asked, we’re so quick to say, “I’m good” or “fine” but this often reveals the criteria we use to evaluate our own health. I’m okay because there’s money in the bank…I’ve got my health…I’ve got fun plans this weekend…started dating. Or, I’m fine because I got two masters degrees…an enlightened world view…recently lost 10lbs…my kids are safe…I donate, volunteer, etc.

It doesn’t require a big leap of faith to believe God has different criteria in regards to our health. The Apostle Paul said, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us SO THAT in him we might become the righteousness of God”. In other words, that we might display to a desperate, anxious world a living Christ—Hope, generosity, joy, compassion coursing through your veins and pouring out your lips. We reflect it in how one stewards their blessing and time so that the reality of God is made known.

Practicing the presence of God is effort yet always produces health. For ages, the people of God practiced ‘fixed time’ prayers – morning & evening – in order to maintain perspective, renew their hearts, leverage their blessings and opportunities each day.

More than sound waves entering your ear, The Shema calls the people of God to listen and obey…Because real listening takes effort and action! In your quiet moments with God each day, try taking action with these questions and practice the presence of God all day, each day:

…How attentive are you to follow what you do know God desires?

…How sensitive are you to listen and respond to the prompts of God’s Spirit?

…How do you remember God’s faithfulness, provision, grace, guidance, and care?

…What are you learning from humbling circumstances? Do you have moments that you feel out of control, inadequate, dependent, lonely, or uncertain? These moments help us NOT forget the Lord.