Finding Real Energy and Power
by Rob Fischer
Since 1989, the Energizer Bunny® has been beating his drum as a symbol of energy and power. While this now famous pink bunny “keeps going and going,” multiple sclerosis sufferers find their “batteries” getting low.
As you’ve read in this issue of Home Cures That Work, Dr. Scott Saunders refers to MS as “a disease of energy” – or lack of it, that is. MS renders the mitochondria in the cells weak and unable to function properly sapping one’s strength and energy. We wonder in awe that something so miniscule could impact us so profoundly!
Unfortunately, there are other influences at work in our bodies that also deplete our energy and strength. Some of these dark influences include: discouragement, self-pity, depression, and anger. If you suffer from MS or some other chronic disease, it’s totally understandable that you might experience some of these negative emotions—who wouldn’t?
The problem is that negative attitudes and emotions lead to chronic stress that can severely impact our health. We now know that chronic stress often brought on by these negative feelings can lead to high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, digestive problems, infections, and cause us to age faster. Especially for a person suffering with MS, this is the last thing you need!
This serves as another reminder that people are integrated, whole beings. What happens in any one facet of our lives profoundly impacts all other areas.
You Are the Boss
We often wrongly assume that we are just victims of our emotions. We are quick to blame our circumstances—or even God for our plight. As a result, we behave as though we can’t help feeling angry, bitter, resentment, or discouraged.
On the one hand, we need to cut ourselves some slack. We are only human after all. We are ultimately frail. From time to time we all feel down and disheartened . . . but we mustn’t live there.
On the other hand, you are not a victim, but the boss of your emotions. You are not at the mercy of the whims of your emotions. Don’t play the victim with your emotions and allow them to sap even more of your energy and strength! Instead, take control.
Let’s take a look at some positive things we can do tap into the power and energy we need, especially when trying to overcome a debilitating disease. We’ll look at some practices to avoid and others to pursue to prevent energy-sapping negativity in your life and bring energy to your life instead.
4 Practices to Avoid
- Avoid comparing your suffering with that of others. This only leads to further feelings of self-pity and other morose thoughts. Dr. Jerry Sitser lost his wife, his mother and his daughter all in the same car accident. In his grief, he wondered whether his pain was any greater than that of anyone else’s who loses a loved one. He concluded that such comparisons were futile. You don’t want spend your valuable energy on things that will further drain your energy.
- Don’t push God and others away. Pushing God and others away in our suffering only increases our sorrow and gains us nothing. This behavior is counter-productive and further depletes our energies.
- Leave the question “Why?” to God. Certainly it’s human to ask, “Why am I suffering so?” But this quickly degenerates to the demand, “What did I do to deserve this?” And more often than not, the answer is, “Neither you, nor God brought this disease upon yourself.” Much of life and what happens to us is a mystery. We often don’t know “why?” The real question is, “How will you respond in your suffering?”
- Resist the temptation to focus on yourself and your problems. I hate to be the one to tell you this, but it’s not all about you (or me)! Focusing on oneself is very small behavior. Self-focus is energy-depleting behavior.
4 Practices to Increase Your Energy
1. Find strength in God.
For 13 years, David lived as a fugitive hunted by an evil king who wished him dead. Banished from his homeland, he returns from a journey only to find that enemy raiders have burned his home town and carried off his family and possessions and those of his 600 men. And if things couldn’t get worse, his men turn mob-like and speak of stoning him to death! How did David respond? “David found strength in the Lord his God.”
The end result was David gaining back all that was stolen. The hopelessness that MS brings can be very overwhelming, leaving you in a state of grief and nothing to look forward to. Like David, you can take a step to find strength in God and gain back what MS has stolen from you.
2. Have fun with your friends.
One of the surest paths out of depression and sorrow is to spend time with people that are easy for you to be with. Enjoy their company. Laugh together. People who laugh with others generally feel good about themselves and life in general. There’s something energizing and relaxing about laughter. Watch a comedy together, play games, or exchange jokes. King Solomon knew what he was talking about when he wrote, “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
3. Go back to what you know.
Often suffering becomes so distracting that we forget the basics on which we are grounded. What are the basics? Being grounded in what we know gives us strength and energy to continue.
- God loves you and cares for you more than you can possibly imagine.
- Your character (who you are becoming) is of far greater importance than what you’re suffering.
- Trust in God and He will take care of you. “God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’”
- Be hopeful and pray for your healing. MS can go into remission, or as Dr. Saunders describes, you may be able to reverse it. Couple the diet that Dr. Saunders provides with prayer asking God to give you strength to follow through with it and see your MS reversed.
4. Spend time each day attending to your spiritual health.
Spiritual health doesn’t just happen. We need to take action to cultivate our spiritual health, just as we do our mental and physical health. Attend to your spiritual health by reading God’s Word, the Bible and taking time to talk with God in prayer. Fellowship with other followers of Christ. Listen to music and let its soothing energy wash over you. Once hesitant to do so, the medical community now clearly sees the connection between spiritual health and physical health. Studies demonstrate that spiritual health lowers depression, improves blood pressure, boosts the immune system, offers social support, and improves coping skills.
So, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Now that’s energizing!
Finally, as you or someone you loves suffers with MS, some other chronic illness, or other great misfortune, let me encourage you with a prayer that the Apostle Paul prayed for the followers of Jesus in the ancient city of Ephesus:
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
There is real energy and power to be found in Christ. Trust Him today!
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Rob Fischer has been writing professionally for over 35 years. His experience includes writing curricula, study guides, articles, blogs, newsletters, manuals, workbooks, training courses, workshops, and books. Rob has written for numerous churches, for Burlington Northern Railroad, Kaiser Aluminum, and Barton Publishing. He has also trained managers in effective business writing. Rob holds two Master’s degrees, both focused heavily on writing. Rob has published eleven books and serves as an editor and ghostwriter for other authors.