Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.
~2 Corinthians 5:17, NKJV
She came to our lifestyle center on the verge of a crisis. Morbidly obese, hypertensive, arthritic, diabetic, and with heart failure, she knew she would not live much longer if something did not change-drastically!
Leann could barely walk from her bedroom to the car in her garage. Each time she did, it would take about 10 minutes of heavy breathing to recover. Oh Sabbaths, she would drive to church an hour early in order to secure the parking spot next to the door. Otherwise, she would not have been able to make it inside.
With pleading eyes, she looked across the desk at me, searching for answers to her problems. I did what I have made it my habit to do with each person I treat: I prayed with Leann, asking the Great Physician to take her situation in His hands and work out His will in her life as she cooperated with Him. Then we developed a plan.
Within a couple of days of simple poultices on her knees, her arthritis pain resolved. A whole-food, plant-based diet began the process of weight, glucose, and blood pressure control. Time outdoors in the fresh air and sunshine improved her mood and encouraged further healing.
During the first couple of days at our lifestyle center, Leann had difficulty getting from her room to the dining room for meals, but she made it with the assistance of her care. After a few days, she ventured out the front door of the center and walked a lap under the veranda. The following day she made a single lap around the parking lot. As the days progressed, she began to walk more laps around the parking lot, laps around the lifestyle center, and then forays down the road.
By the time Leann had been with us for more than a month, she was walking over two miles at a time, and without a cane! At the same time, her arthritis pain was resolved, her blood sugars were under control, her blood pressure was markedly improved, she had lost 30 pounds, and she was off all medications!
The Great Physician transformed Leann’s body, and this body transformation mirrored the spiritual transformation He was working in her life-the same transformation He desires for you and me. We are all suffering under the fatal disease of sin; but God offers us healing, strength, and victory if only we will work in His strength.
Leann would never have improved had she not made the effort each day and then increased her effort as her strength increased. Neither will we. Without the Great Physician, any effort she made would be useless, and so it is with us. “The secret of success is the union of divine power with human effort. Those who achieve the greatest results are those who rely most implicitly upon the Almighty Arm” (Ellen G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets, p.509).
The Great Physician is still alive and has a simple remedy for your fatal condition. Trust in Him, cooperate with Him, and you, too, will be transformed.
–Mark Sandoval, LLUSM class of 2005, practices lifestyle medicine at Uchee Pines Institute in Seale Alabama. He was the recipient of the Wil Alexander Whole Person Care Award in 2005.