If there is one demand above, another today which challenges men and women, it is that we shall be well and strong to accomplish the day's work. Never were we called upon to endure the stress and strain of human existence as now. Many are breaking under the pressure, unable to meet the issues of life with faith and fortitude. Whether we are engaged in the professions of healing or teaching, whether we as preachers or Bible workers have been appointed to the cure of souls and so bear the spiritual and moral problems of our fellow men on our heart, the foundation of successful achievement must be physical fitness and physical well-being.
It cannot too often be emphasized that it was even so with our Lord. It is significant that we can find no reference in the Gospels to His ever having been ill. On the contrary, the picture which we receive of Him in these records is of One who was physically equipped through good health to perform any task which came His way. In "Ministry of Healing" we read:
"The Saviour's life on earth was a life of communion with nature and with God. In this communion He revealed for us the secret of a life of power.
"Jesus was an earnest, constant worker. Never lived there among men another so weighted with responsibilities. Never another carried so heavy a burden of the world's sorrow and sin. Never another toiled with such self-consuming zeal for the good of men. Yet His was a life of health. Physically as well as spiritually He was represented by the sacrificial lamb, 'without blemish and without spot.' In body as in soul He was an example of what God designed all humanity to be through obedience to His laws.
As the people looked upon Jesus, they saw a face in which divine compassion was blended with conscious power. He seemed to he surrounded with an atmosphere of spiritual life. While His manners were gentle and unassuming, He impressed men with a sense of power that was hidden, yet could not be wholly concealed. . . .
"During His ministry Jesus lived to a great degree an outdoor life. His journeys from place to place were made on foot, and much of His teaching was given in the open air. In training His disciples He often withdrew from the confusion of the city to the quiet of the fields, as more in harmony with the lessons of simplicity, faith, and self-abnegation He desired to teach them. It was beneath the sheltering trees of the mountainside, but a little distance from the sea of Galilee, that the twelve were called to the apostolate, and the sermon on the mount was given."---Pages 51-53.
The very example of Jesus ought to be a constant reminder to each of us of the vital and essential value of health, and of those practices which will ensure sound bodies and keen minds. Our danger is that in the rush of our complex civilization, with its many demands upon us, we shall neglect and mar our body temples. So long as we are faced with the scripture, "Know ye not that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which ye have from God ? and ye are not your own," and that further word of Paul, "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God," we cannot evade this question of keeping our bodies in the best of condition. Mrs. E. G. White says:
"Many have inquired of me, 'What course shall I take to best preserve my health?' My answer is. Cease to transgress the laws of your being; cease to gratify a depraved appetite; eat simple food; dress healthfully, which will require modest simplicity; work healthfully ; and you will not be sick.
"It is a sin to be sick; for all sickness is the result of transgression. Many are suffering in consequence of the transgression of their parents. They cannot be censured for their parents' sin; but it is nevertheless their duty to ascertain wherein their parents violated the laws of their being, which has entailed upon their offspring so miserable an inheritance ; and wherein their parents' habits were wrong, they should change their course, and place themselves by correct habits in a better relation to health.
"Men and women should inform themselves in regard to the philosophy of health. The minds of rational beings seem shrouded in darkness in regard to their own physical structure, and how to preserve it in a healthy condition."—"Counsels on Health," p. 37.
Distressing and dire days are undoubtedly ahead of us, and every ounce of physical power and reserve will be needed to face life and its responsibilities. How well we are able to do this will depend very largely on one thing—the state of our health. As our present automobiles may be the last we shall have for a long time to come, we are being advised to 'take good care of them. Surely this is a good point to keep in mind regarding our bodies. These are the only bodies which have been given us for this life, and common sense should dictate that we guard them well. Writes John, "Beloved, I pray that in all things thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth." No more pertinent words are needed by us today. May the Lord help us to honor Him by honoring our bodies.