It was sobering several months ago, when my normally very healthy mother informed me that she had been to the doctor for a physical and had been told she had diabetes. Any A1C number around 7 is diabetic, and her number was 7.1. We had watched her dad suffer for years with the slow and cruel effects of diabetes, so we took this news seriously.
Next came an appointment to meet with a nutritionist who turned out to be wonderfully encouraging. She gave no extreme counsel but gently advised mom on some do-able diet changes and urged her to get up and get some regular exercise.
Mom listened. She started going for a walk every single day, even in the middle of a frigid Wyoming winter. And she changed what and how much she was eating so that she lost weight (including over the holidays, mind you). When she went to the doctor a couple of weeks ago, her diabetic number was down to 5.4, and she was told she wasn’t even pre-diabetic anymore.
Well, this has me thinking about my own health, for sure. But more than that, it reminds me that even if we’ve been going in an unhealthy direction for a very long time–maybe even a lifetime–we can stop and change directions.
“You can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” I hear you say. Not true. In fact, that well-known proverb is from the Devil.
“You can’t change,” the father of lies whispers in your ear.
But Jesus has created in us a mind that is malleable. The vocabulary of Scripture is vocabulary of growth and change. We can be made new. We can be transformed. We can mature. We can go from incomplete to complete. We can repent and turn our minds from one direction to 180 degrees in another direction. We can grow in wisdom. We can take our thoughts captive and make them obey Christ.
We can forgive what we never thought we could forgive.
We can be healed and move forward.
We can love where we’ve never loved before.
We can exchange sloth for discipline.
We can choose what food goes on our plates.
We can do all things through Christ, who gives us what we need to become holy and blameless in every aspect of our lives. To believe anything else is to swallow a lie from hell. Jesus is a hope-giver.
I asked mom for permission to tell you her story, and she humbly told me it was only God who had helped her get this far. She told me she knew she still had a long way to go to maintain this new lifestyle. And with that reply, she said she was going for a walk!
Listen, if my mom–the indoorsy librarian–can up and make a huge change in her life, then we can, too. She has already influenced me, and I have made some moves to follow her example.
How about looking at whatever you think could never possibly change in your life and practicing the mantra, “Jesus says I can change.”