Did you know that the Hebrew word for God’s glory is kavod, the same word the Hebrews used for liver? You’d think if God’s glory were described as an organ, the heart or brain would be somewhat more appropriate. But not to the Hebrews. Kavod is also translated as “heavy,” and the liver is the heaviest organ in our bodies -- if one of the least glamorous.
Image via Wikipedia
The other day in the store, I passed a display of medicinal teas and I noted a “Daily Detox” blend which supposedly helps one’s liver purge contaminants from the body. Now, I’m not a doctor, nor do I play one on this blog, and I am in no way endorsing or promoting this product. But considering that one of the liver's main occupations is to break down toxins, I was intrigued by the idea of getting rid of the garbage that might be lurking inside of me.
Not that it’s only physical pollutants festering under my ribcage right now. My life has been in an “interesting” season (for lack of a nicer term). Sometimes we can choose what we let into our lives, but sometimes bad stuff just comes our way and we have to deal with it. Whether it's by my own fault or circumstance, as I sit here, I'm buried under stuff. I’ve realized that I need to get rid of some of the sin, fear, disappointment, and frustration that have lodged in me for too long.
Burdens, whether they’re physical or spiritual, are best dealt with as they come, however, before they grow so large that they take a toll on our health and relationships. A spiritual, physical, and emotional “Daily Detox” seems a wise way to get rid of the bad stuff in a healthy way, to me. Here’s what I came up with, no medicinal tea required.
Image by kellycrull via Flickr--Make God part of your daily habits. Spend quiet time with Him and give Him your burdens. Whatever life throws at you, He wants to help you handle it. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you (1 Peter 5:7).
--Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me… (Psalm 51). Confession, as they say, is good for the soul. And the body too. Living with unconfessed sin is not only burdensome, but it’s against God’s will. He wants us to be set free from the darkness that binds us. Ask Him to reveal the areas of your life needing cleansing, and then seek forgiveness. He’s promised to wash us whiter than snow.
--Get a Life – A social life, that is. One study shows that being with friends can help reduce our bodies’ productions of cortisol, a stress hormone. Stress weakens our systems and weighs down our spirits. God doesn’t want us to handle stress alone: we’re supposed to carry each other’s burdens (Gal 6:2).
--Watch what you eat. We all know certain foods are healthy choices, but a few vegetables may be of particular help to the detoxification of the liver. (I’m not promoting any home remedies, but these foods are wholesome, no matter how they help us.) Beets clean the blood and absorb heavy metals. Garlic may do the same with mercury. Artichokes increase bile production, an important liver function, and cruciferous veggies like broccoli and cauliflower help produce enzymes and flush our systems.
--Exercise! This seems obvious, but when I’m down in the dumps, the last thing I want to do is take a walk around the block. In addition to getting your heart rate up, stretch. Try trunk twists to squeeze out your organs a bit (as one exercise instructor told me). Then drink water.
--A cheerful heart is good medicine (Pr. 17:22). Laughter increases our endorphins and lowers blood pressure, and nothing helps my family decompress better than indulging in our favorite comedies. Find whatever it is that tickles your funny bone, and make it a deliberate part of your day.
--Praise God. He intimately knows us, body and soul, and He knows the difficulties we face daily. He alone is big enough – heavy, kavod enough – to bear our sin and make us clean. He deserves our praise, no matter our circumstances. Looking to Him first puts the rest of our lives in perspective.
Serious Question: Do you have any tricks for getting garbage out of your life?
Silly Question: Beets are not my favorite food, but I'm trying to eat more of them. Especially with blue cheese, which makes everything better. If you like beets, do you have any suggestions for recipes?