God’s Gatekeepers: Protecting Divine Health
by Connie Pshigoda
In our modern world of advanced technology, energy-efficiency, fast food, and labor-saving gadgets galore, it seems that women should enjoy the freedoms of extra time, less stress and increased energy. In spite of these contemporary conveniences, I sometimes feel like I’m scarcely surviving, much less thriving. Have you experienced similar frustrations?
Working many years in the natural health profession, promoting health and wellness from a farm-fresh-food-in-season perspective, I have observed my stress zone moving from the garden to the grocer. The aggravations I deal with are no longer the slugs and bugs that attack my garden produce, but the excessive amounts of imitation, chemically-laden, potentially addictive foods being manufactured by giant food companies making their way to the grocery aisles and onto my plate.
A couple of concerns that may be promoting a decline in the overall health and vitality of our family’s health deserve our attention:
1. Sugary snacks and beverages in the daily diet
2. Marketing trends of the big food companies
As women concerned about our family’s wholesome health, we must not be deceived by the gimmicky jingles of commercials and labels that promote “tasty, nutritious, fun food” at the expense of our health. Numerous scientific and medical studies report the connection between the frequent intake of sugary snacks and beverages and rising obesity and diabetes rates (diabesity) in children as well as the adult population. Fact sheets providing evidence that sugar in food and drinks increases the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and gout have been published by top medical research universities.
I don’t believe mothers, grandmothers, and others who are attentive to wellness would argue whether the major power players of the food factories put profit above principle. I do believe we feel outnumbered and often overpowered in this effort to protect our palates from their foreign food invasion. Does the responsibility fall on the manufacturers, the advertisers, or government agencies? Regardless of who you feel is at fault, we as believers, must acknowledge that we are fighting an adversary who intends to “...steal and kill and destroy...”
(John 10:10 NIV). If Eve could be deceived in the Garden, with fruit from a tree, how is the enemy deceiving us today?
Scripture instructs us to guard our eye- and ear-gates from present-time perversions that invade our sanity and serenity. What about our mouth-gate? Who guards what goes into that? Where is the “No Junk Food Allowed” sign? First Corinthians 6:19-20 reminds us, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies”(NIV).
I find comfort throughout the verses of Proverbs 31. These verses do not describe a stressed-out woman in survival mode. She selects food “from afar,” meaning perhaps she searches for fresh, garden-grown produce at a farmer’s market. She purchases a vineyard––or maybe a garden or field––and profits from its harvest; and she watches over the activities of her household. This woman seems intentional in her efforts to keep her house in order––and in health.
In an effort to restore and maintain optimal health and well-being, we women, as care- givers and nurturers, must strive to follow God’s plan for divine health. I love how Scripture uses the word flourish with a reference to plant growth. God wants us to thrive in all ages, stages, and seasons of our lives. Psalm 103:15 reminds us that, “The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field” (NIV). God’s natural foods bring life to our bodies without the health hazards of the man-made food-like edible products lining the grocer’s shelves.
Approaching my sixth decade of life, I feel empowered and encouraged from lessons learned along the way––my own and others’. It is a blessing and opportunity to use those experiences to strategize my next season. When I read Psalm 92:14, I am inspired to continue protecting and preserving my God-given blessing of health and to teach my daughters and granddaughters wellness wisdom. This scripture tells us that, “They shall still bear fruit in old age; they shall be fresh and flourishing” (NKJV). Let’s come together as mighty women of God––leading by example––representing a holistic, vibrant, confident woman that others will desire to follow.