God's Healing Love at Jacksonville Presbyterian ChurchThe late singing star, Johnny Cash, who at one time was taking 100 pills a day said:

“Every once in a while, I meet someone on drugs who knows I used to be a drug addict, and he asks me what he can do to kick the habit. I tell him what I learned, “Give God’s temple back to him!” In 1 Corinthians 6:19 the Bible says: “Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.”

God is saying your body is not meant for sickness but for help. This means that when we over indulge in alcohol or drugs or eating, we have abused and desecrated the house God lives in– our body. When we pay attention to our body and treat it as an instrument of the Lord, he will give us better health and more strength throughout our life. If you are fighting one of these problems, be gentle with yourself. Be patient and don’t give up. Ask for help from others. Remember God is with you in your pain, your struggle; God is with you every step of the way.

And now, the rest of the story. Johnny Cash died at the age of 71 on September 12, 2003. Not long before that, he discussed his battle with Parkinson’s disease on Larry King Live. Larry King asked him, “You know you are only 71 and to be dealt with this disease… are you bitter?” Johnny responded, “The good Lord has given me everything. I have such a rich life, and for me… shake my fist at God? There’s absolutely no way… I am grateful and blessed. Larry, you have had me on your show several times and you know me better than to ask a question like that.”

The positive attitude of Johnny Cash reminds me of my Dial Hope message of the Top 10 List for today’s faith journey. Number four reads: remember that as you encounter the detours and hard knocks of life, you have a choice… You can get bitter, or you can get better!

Let us pray: Lord, thank you for the gift of life. Thank you for the gift of health. Help us to honor our body, this temple of your Holy Spirit, by living a clean and upright life. Through Jesus Christ, who came not to make life easy, but to make us equal to life. Amen.