This morning I am taking my daughter to get her wisdom teeth removed. She can’t wait for it to be over and I feel the same. Even though this is a routine surgery, it is still a surgery and can give rise to worry. Worry is not something God wants us to do. Jesus repeatedly tells us to be anxious about nothing, a tall order but one we need to live in obedience to every day.
Health is one of those areas it is easy to allow worry to get the best of us. There is a fine line between being too relaxed about health issues and obsessing on everything that could go wrong.
In my new book, Letting Go of Worry, due out October 1, I provide tips for peace when it comes to health concerns. Here are a few tips:
1) Don’t self-diagnosis on the Internet. If you are not a medical doctor, the Internet can be useful but also problematic when you try to self-diagnosis. I once worked myself into a state of frenzy believing I had something seriously wrong with me based on symptom checklists on the Internet. I finally went to my doctor only to find out I was wrong and nothing was seriously wrong.
2) Don’t freak out over all the possible side effects. When reading all the possible side effects of any drug, surgery or procedure, the list is usually long and covers every known side effect. We need to be informed when making decisions regarding use of medications and medical procedures, but also need to be careful not to obsess over side effects or possible reactions once a decision is made.
3) Expect the unexpected. Things happen that we can’t control. A few weeks ago I was at the Meadowlands in New Jersey and ran into a rusty wardrobe cart in a hotel lobby. Because my tetanus shot was not up to date, I had serious problems. Thankfully, the treatment (and new shot) worked. I never expected such a thing, but instead of why me, we need to take the approach of what now. Do what needs to be done, pray and trust God.
4) Do what you can to be healthy. Eat well, exercise, get sleep and take care of your body. You lessen the odds of health problems. This part is in your control.
5) Trust God even when the news is bad. Pray for healing. And if the answer does not come in the way or timing you think, trust God to walk you through the health issue. He never leaves our side. His Spirit is in us. He has our lives in His control. Worry goes away when we fully trust God and do not doubt His Word or character. Bad things do happen, but the promise is that God is with us through it all and will work it for our good and His glory.