Where do we find Hope?
Health by design the podcast where we explore your brilliant biology, current research and successful traditions to give you the health of your life.
If living organisms are composed of inanimate molecules why does living matter differ so radically from non-living matter which also consists of inanimate molecules? Most of this podcast so far has discussed physical help for our body. Yet there are too many cases of healing that include other stuff that I cannot in good conscience ignore. .
And so I love this episode. You are going to enjoy hearing from Marissa Lee again.
Awesome. Well, I am so excited to have Marissa Lee here. Again with me.
Research has been done in spiritual health in relation to diseases. In essence research shows that it doesn't matter what we've been through if we have hope. Yet, who hopes for what he already has? Hope that is seen as not hope at all. I want to challenge you today to think outside the box. There are an abundance of books on healing, through prayer . So we know there's more than we know about our body, but you wouldn't pray. If you didn't have hope that prayer would heal.
We're not just physical beings. Right. But do we act like we know it? was raised in a secular school system, which God, and the amazing design of creation was almost never even mentioned. Ignoring design cannot refute that there is design. So let me give you an example, this extremely brilliant man has shown us that human mitochondria is amazing. And that the design allows healing. I could have never come up with this brilliant idea, but can we ignore obvious connections? This brilliant man discovered much about what we can do to repair the mitochondria yet, even he jumps to a conclusion that doesn't have any bearing to what the science that he's talking about says.
Here's a quote from his book, biochemistry in the living state, "we may now ask if living organisms are composed of molecules that are intrinsically inanimate. Why does living matter differ so radically from non-living matter which also consists of intrinsically inanimate molecules?"
Why does the living organism appear to be more than the sum of its inanimate parts? You've seen a chart of the elements, right? Everything in nature is made up of these elements. Humans included the table in front of us, right? The chair we're sitting on the computers we're using the computer you hold your hand. Why do people seem to be more than these inanimate objects when we're made of similar objects? Similar elements? Honestly, I had not even thought about it like this and think that the brilliance of this man is expressed in the fact that he would even think of this question.
He continues, "early philosophers would have answered that living organisms are endowed with a mysterious and divine life force. But this doctrine called vitalism is nothing more than superstition. And it has been rejected by modern science."
That's it? That's all he says about it. Just that it is a superstition without giving you one piece of evidence to back up his statement.
Which is so different from the rest of his book. So it is interesting to consider that the ingredients or the chemical elements that make up the human body are inanimate. We are made up of stuff that is not alive. What is the difference between us and a table? If we're made up of stuff that is inanimate?
That is such a good question. And I think that touches on a very fundamental question of what it means to be human. And that question is going to answer our question on what is overall health, what is overall wellbeing? Because if we don't know what it means to be human, we don't know what it means to be healthy.
So I think in the last podcast that we briefly touched upon this, but. The human body and the essence of what it means to be human. It's not just a body. It is made up of three different parts. The body is a physical part and that's where we experience pain. We experience our five senses, touch, taste, smell.
The soul is a whole separate part of us. It's kind of like our mind and our heart, which is where we have logic emotion. We have willpower, we have motivation, you have determination. And then there is a whole nother side of us and that's the spiritual side of us. And this is a side of us that I think a lot of people.
Kind of break away from, there's been all sorts of different philosophies and cultures that don't integrate that side, or almost deny that side exists, but we can't deny it. We know within ourselves that there's something beyond the physical that we inhabit. And I think some people call it the knowing.
Maybe they call it your gut. It's the kind of the place that transcends your physical experience. So you might be in a really stressful situation, maybe. In a meeting, it's a very stressful, people are yelling at each other and a lot of tension and your body. You can feel your blood pressure rising your heart, pounding, your body's getting into fight or flight mode.
It's stressed out and then suddenly. Kind of turn inside of you and you can feel yourself kind of separating from that experience. Maybe transcending it. And funny about that experience, your body is telling you something else, your bodies, your hearts, not only you and your blood pressure's going up, but all of a sudden you're like, wait, what.
This is actually a funny experience, and this is actually ridiculous, you know, or your, your body kind of transcends out of some physical experience that you're you're in. That can happen. That's a funny example, but there's not that example. Yeah. It's a very relatable example.
Yes. We've all heard of people that were in the hospital and they have like an out-of-body experience and they see themselves there or
yeah. Or even, I think a lot of people talk about this and they fall in love. They see a deeper part of someone else. They feel this deeper connection and they really can't can't they can't really explain it. I think a lot of people say I wasn't attracted to them in the beginning. Maybe just so angry,
but there's some sort of deeper connection. There's a transcendent connection. And I. Maybe check flags, you know, as TV shows and movies, it's gotta to capture that. What is that? What is that layer of us that we can't put into words? It can't understand, but we know that we know that we know it exists. And I think Oprah calls it, the knower, the knowing it's something within us = it's like our spirit!
For some of us who have a faith background. That's really the part of us that connects to something divine, something beyond us. When we look at a beautiful landscape, we can logically appreciate it and say, wow, what beautiful colors, what lovely lighting, you know, Something inside of us just rises up and we just can't help it be in awe or like, do you know some emotion, some, but even deeper than emotion, some feeling of awe and wonder, and life just rises within us.
And we feel a deep sense of connection and meaning when we look at that beauty, that's the spirit, the spirit is a part of us that connects to other spirits and it connects to the divine.
Wow. I keep thinking back to what you said is separating the heart and the mind from the part that connects to the divine.
Cause I've always thought that our heart is where our issues. So our issues of the heart are from our heart and our mind yet that would be separate from the divine? Do you think?
Ooh, that's a good question. To be honest, I'm not an expert on all of this, but I guess what I mean by the heart is that yes, we have, we have a very natural human aspect to us, you know, very physical human aspect to us.
And I think when we talk about issues of the heart, we often talk about motivation. You know, we talk about, intrinsic or extrinsic motivation things that. Deep down. We want to maybe desires. all of those things are, I think part of our soul, I guess the way that I define soul is just truly like a very human.
Essence a very big part of our humanity. It's very, it's in some ways we can explain it, you know, it's like, well, I wanted that because I want to elevate myself and dah, dah, dah, dah, dah. But no matter how much you explain something, sometimes the spirit just goes beyond it and actually it's unexplainable.
So I think the spirit kind of invades some logic and ended up. Uh, physical explanation. So it's a little bit different and that's kind of my concept of it, but I'm no expert. I think there's a lot of philosophers and others who are. Dug deeper into those layers. No, but I
think it makes sense. Cause now that I'm seeing, like we know that there is a physical change of the heart and it becomes a heart of flesh with the power of the spirit.
So maybe that's the, the heart is more personal. I don't want to say it's more personal because the spirit is very personal as well. But individual maybe is the one.
Yeah. Yeah. I think what's in our heart. We often feel a little bit out of control. you know, like I could look at someone I love dearly and they can make me so angry, even though I don't want them to be angry.
I want them to just always make me feel butterflies. And he would have been like, that makes me angry, but I'm not going to let it make me angry, but I. I feel myself getting angry. Sometimes it's really hard for us to control our heart. Our heart is really, it's almost like a human instinct, but that's what.
This part of us, it's a spirit. It's very much beyond us. I think that kind of connection, it's very hard for us to control. It's very hard for us to explain and I think it opens the door to allow something else into our lives that can either control us in negative or positive ways. but it's a very delicate.
ethereal like different part of us. It's hard to really put into words. What is very powerful and it creates a living stream within us, kind of that vitality concept that makes us different than other species and other inanimate objects.
So I just keep thinking about the last episode that we talked about and we ended on hope and the hope I even woke up with that and the greatest, what is it? Faith, hope and love. The greatest of these is love. But I woke up with that the other morning, thinking about our last discussion, how even people with these tendencies towards illness, because of what they've been through.
Those tendencies that could be measured by percentages no longer could be measured by percentages once they had hope. So how does this figure in, like, do you have research on that? obviously you have research on it? We talked about it last week, but I'm just trying to figure where it fits in with the spiritual
oh, yeah. Very good question. I think a lot of people have really dive into what is hope, hope I believe really has to come from outside of us. So like we were talking about the soul and the spirit, the soul really is a part of inside of us. It's our motivations, it's our emotions. It's our logic.
It's our reasoning. You know, it's very much a thing that we feel we can control, even if we can't, you know, even if it's that, but it's very much a human instinct. It's easily measurable. Psychologists, psychiatrists, you know, all sorts of people. Who've done lots of measurements on the human body and very predictable outcomes can happen when you're faced with different situations like adverse childhood events.
Hope is something that I think is very transcendent because it doesn't make sense. So like, there are so many people that have gone through so much adversity and yet they have this determined spirit. I think for example, of Abraham Lincoln, he failed the bar exam. So many times he failed in so many different aspects of his life.
He didn't get good jobs. There is so much that went against him. He was very poor. He had a really difficult marriage, but he had. Such a deep determination and a deep hope that led him to become one of the greatest leaders of our country. And that's unexplainable. Why, why would a human have that? Like if we actually look at human nature, I mean, that's not normal because of all the adversity.
One face is it's quite normal to see someone. You know, result in depression and hole up in their house. And, you know, it would be very normal. In fact, we would really empathize with someone who, who decides they can't contribute to society anymore because of so much adversity. Yet we see people overcome that with something almost transcended.
I almost feel like. Hope is where the divine meets the physical concrete world. So when we dig into hope, um, I don't have a ton of research that I am bringing to the table today, but it's just kind of my own thoughts on this. I think hope stems from being able to answer existential questions that we have.
So, you know, dogs, cats, and other species living species, they might have emotions. They might have a, will. They want the ball and they only want the ball, you know, like, okay. And
then not release the ball until you squeak the second box. I totally understand
They have this kind of a soul element to them, right. They have some sort of emotion I sort of will, but I don't see dogs kind of sitting out there in the middle of the field, just contemplating the meaning of life, you know, like what, what is my purpose as a dog to catch all the balls every day? Does that make a difference in this big world that I live in,
but what makes us tick? As human beings, what makes us human? I would almost argue is that we do ask those questions. And not only do we ask this questions, but I think fundamentally whether Consciously or subconsciously asked those questions. They fundamentally rule our life, the answers that we have for those questions.
And so when we talk about hope, I'm kind of going pretty deep, really quickly. I think hope is rooted in being able to have good answers to those questions, that match reality. Wow. And that really connect with a bigger story that you can understand that you can fit into. So this is not research based.
It's just kind of my own reflection, but that's really what I believe hope comes from.
That makes so much sense.
more seriously. That makes so much sense. Like you have those existential questions that the philosophers go on and on and on about without coming to a conclusion, you come to a conclusion, you have hope!
How many philosophers do we now have written extensive books and, you know, novels of that and really fundamental maybe for some of my philosophy who died of suicide, who really didn't have individual hope for their life. And so, yes. Think just thinking about the questions is not enough. Every human thinks about the questions, where do we find like fundamentally get hope from is really our answers to those questions and being able to grapple with them in a meaningful way.
I say that I think a lot of this comes from my personal reflection. Having worked with, a lot of people suffering in the worst seasons of their life, end of life patients, and even, I've done a lot of work abroad and I've started some medical clinics abroad with people who live in much worse circumstances than we do.
Horrible infrastructure, you know, Looking at some of the differences in how we perceive the world and how we answer some of those questions, I think makes a big difference in the way that we live our life and the hope that we carry.
That makes a lot of sense.
Yeah. I think it really is foundational for us.
That is so great.
Oh, this is more of an evidence for what you have just said. the amazing story of prayer healing, a child, Aaron Shust and his wife, their third child had been diagnosed with a lot of different issues, including complete deafness in one ear and almost complete in the other. she felt strongly, she comes from a place where she's got hope because she has those existential questions answered.
That doesn't mean that he's going to be healed, but she went and brought him to a prayer meeting and he was completely healed, completely able to hear he still had other issues, but his hearing was completely returned. It's an amazing story. And they admit, you know, that doesn't just because you go to a prayer meeting, it doesn't mean that you're necessarily going to be healed, but they had the things in place and God chose to heal them.
Anyway, I'll put the link in the show notes. If anybody wants to hear this story. Well, what is the source of strength that you're saying that the source of strength is knowing the answers to those deep questions that people ask. So it's knowing.
Does God love me. It's knowing.
what is my purpose? Do I even have purpose in this world? Why am I even here? Where are we going?
but where is there? Like, what's the point? What's the point of life? So I think it touches a lot on worldview frameworks, like nihilism or just different frameworks that we have that maybe we don't even realize. Actually guide our life and guide our decisions. When we look at health, they actually guide the way that we make healthcare decisions.
I see that every day in the acute setting, you know, in a hospital setting where patients are making life or death decisions, their background framework for how they see the world really guides those decisions and the context of their environment as well. You know, if they have a family, if they have children, if they don't, if they're single and have no connections, you know, that does guide their decisions.
But really a lot of. Those questions are kind of the background. Hum. I think that eventually kind of shape how they make health decisions and even their fight to, keep staying well or to keep staying healthy. Are you
willing to fight? You have to have something to be willing to fight for and stay healthy for yes.
Some hope. Yeah. Yes. Yeah. And even the way that you approach, you know, the value of your life will determine the kind of treatments are going to get. Rigor of the students, what dedication you're going to, like, let's say you need physical therapy for something, if you really don't think it's, you know, it doesn't matter if I walk or not walk, it doesn't matter if I, you know, I I'm just an essence of a spirit and no one really notices about here or not, or whatever, it's going to change.
The motivation you break that. And even what kind of treatments you choose, if you're going to choose a certain medication. For quality of life or for, you know, whatever, all of those things really affect your health decisions and ultimately affect your health. And so when we talk about hope and we talk about strength, in oncology, for example, uh, working as a cancer dietician, one of the first things I talk about with my cancer patients is what is giving you strength That will get you through this journey because for cancer, it's so debilitating. It is so discouraging and it's miserable. I mean, you have absolutely no quality of life. If you're getting chemo and radiation, no human should exist. That way. It's really miserable. And you lose all sorts of functionality in your body and your.
In torture and suffering, it really does feel like that. And so really for those patients, they, I have seen time and time out. If they don't have a source of strength outside of themselves, this treatment will wear them down to the point where they will lose motivation. And so the first thing I talked to them about before you even discuss what the next steps of their treatment will look like is what.
Do you find strength, then that's outside of yourself and what will get you through this dream? And it can't be, I just am motivated or I, you know, because you will get so burnt out and discouraged, you'll come to the end of yourself. And that's when you really need something bigger than yourself to give you hope and strength, to get through such a difficult journey, such a difficult, you know, treatment and, and healing process.
But I think applying that even just to our regular lives, all of us need to have that kind of motivation, just to be motivated, to take care of ourselves, just to be motivated, to stay healthy. It's not easy to stay healthy. We're constantly fighting toxins and environmental factors and all sorts of things. It's not easy to, to maintain our health and to care for ourselves.
And so kind of having that sentiment, some of those fundamental questions answered. That's where the spiritual really connects with our physical health in practical ways. And then, you know, down the line even to end of life is really where the research is.
What is some of that research?
Yeah. Okay. So you brought up prayer.
Yes. what we've been seeing is that prayer seems to be a good measurement for hope and for, overall wellbeing as patients are sick.
So meaning like, if you have hope you will pray. Well,
not exactly, but if you pray, you are tapping into a source of hope that goes beyond maybe the physical.
and so when we see people praying, we see that they are fighting for hope and it's kind of been a good indicator to measure, to measure hope. I haven't seen research where they've correlated that directly. It's just something that I've interpreted out of the research, but what a lot of research is showing is that spiritual health and spiritual.
components of our lives directly affect personal patient care. A lot of the research is in end of life care. So palliative and hospice care, but even in general, looking at physicians and at patients, um, We've seen national large studies that show that 99% of patients, I'm sorry. 94% of patients believe spiritual health is as important as physical health.
And then an informal survey of physicians show that 99% of physicians believe religious belief can heal. Yeah, what's crazy to hear that from a physician, right?! And 75% will be others' prayers can promote healing in their patients. And that's 75% of doc doctors, physicians. Yeah, because we just see that so regularly, you know, in medical care.
And I truly think if a physician is not thinking about that aspect of their patient's life and care, they really are missing. total health patients believe that as well, because we've seen research that shows that patients in the inpatient setting in a large national survey, 83% of patients wanted the physicians to ask about their spiritual beliefs.
They believe the most acceptable scenarios were in life-threatening illnesses. With serious medical diagnoses or with the loss of a loved one. And I've personally seen that just in my practice regularly.
I've heard people speak of how much they love and respect their doctor for praying with them on the.
Uh, not that that happens all the time, but that seems to be when they'll say, oh, he's an amazing doctor. He even prayed with me. Oh yeah.
Because it just shows that they see you as a whole person, not just as a body that needs medication thrown at it and treatments for a minute, but they've you, they care about your soul and your spirit.
And there's something about being seen as a whole person that really touches us, I think, you know, not someone that just cares about you for what you look like and what you can do, but someone who really sees you for who you truly are. That's I think the essence of what love is, you know, so patients actually have said, so in that same study, just to back up exactly what you just said, um, patients believe that.
Information around their spiritual beliefs would actually affect the physician's ability to encourage realistic hope for their diagnosis. Wow. 67% of the patients in this large national survey said if only my doctor talked to me about my spiritual beliefs and understood it, they would then be able to actually give me a realistic hope.
They're tired of doctors giving them unrealistic hope, because hope is in context of the spiritual. So they can't truly understand the whole aspect of hope for these patients unless they understand them beyond just the body. Wow. They also believe so 66% believe that a physician's understanding of their spiritual belief would give, would affect and give them better, better medical advice and actually change their medical treatments as well.
Wow. So that just shows patients. And physicians recognize this holistic aspect of a being they care about the spiritual side of things. And, um, I guess one more study to talk about for prayers specifically in an outpatient setting. An ambulatory setting is really healthy person like you are. I might go in because we have eczema, honors skin, or maybe a wart on our fingers, something, you know, that we want them to take and look at.
But we're generally very healthy. We're not usually thinking about all of the problems of the world when we're still healthy. You know, we kind of just get caught up in our own lives, but even those patients have a large survey, almost 500 patients were surveyed 33%, wanted their physician to ask about their religious beliefs.
So one in every three persons. Well, one of their physicians, I talked to them about that and 20%, one of their physicians to pray with them, it just, even in an outpatient setting, one in every five people wanted someone to pray with them. Wow. But then when someone gets to the point where they're dying, so that's the patients that I see regularly in the hospital.
This increases to 70% of people who want their care, medical care providers to know their spiritual beliefs. And then 50%. So every other patient that I see who is at the point of end of life dying, they want their health care professional to pray with them. Wow. And that doesn't even reflect the number of people who are considered spiritual, you know, or have some sort of religious connection in our country.
Yet those people who maybe have no religious beliefs, no spirituality, when they get to end of life, when they're dying, then want someone to be praying with them.
I've seen that. I mean, in life with our friends, right. That they don't have to have any spiritual beliefs when they're in a challenging situation to need prayer.
right. Yeah. Just, I think even beyond preference, what gets me with this research is that our actual concept of some of these existential questions or. Say spiritual questions are directly related to our morbidity and mortality. So there's been a robust amount of literature. That's come out about this idea of religious struggle and religious struggle can be categorized in three different ways.
There are different factors that we measure. It has been shown to directly correlate with your risk of dying and your risk of having co-morbidities So these three different factors are one we can use. An acronym to help us remember the three different factors.
So how a P L is loved if a patient questions, if they're loved by God. So fundamentally loved their chance of dying within a two year span. It was a two year longitudinal. So. Increases by 22%, if they
don't believe that they're loved. If
they just question, if they just question, if they're loved by God. So these are kind of God things he says, okay, there's a human connection.
And there's a God connection. Literally struggles with God. If they even question there, they're loved by God. This was a two year longitudinal study. Their chance of dying within that two years increased by 22%. All other factors controlled. So they might have diabetes. Another might have cancer, but controlling the risk for death with all of those, it's still a 22% chance of death.
The second factor is a abandoned mint or abandoned. So if a patient questions, if they've been abandoned by God or wondered, has God abandoned me in this. They actually had a 28% increased risk of mortality of death within two years. And then the last factor is P and it's punishment. And this is an interesting thing because.
There are maybe two players, you know, involved in this spiritual realm, we all have this fundamental conception of good versus evil. But if someone felt that they were being punished by God for their lack of devotion or sins, that they've committed, they had a 16% increased risk of mortality. But if they felt like they were getting punished by Satan or the devil, or if they believe the devil made this happen directly related to their health condition, they had a 19% increase in mortality.
So my believing that believing that Satan had more power over their lives, then God did really in union increase their chance of dying by 3%.
Wow. So what is the
Well, I think religious struggle is a complex can be a complex answer because everyone has a different concept of, of God and spirituality. But I think that every, no matter what belief system people come from recognizing that they need to face those questions, really ask those questions and be honest with themselves about those questions is going to be fundamental to real holistic health.
Wow, that makes a lot of sense. And I just can't help. But think that the gospel is the answer to all of those questions. Right. Do we know God loves us? Do we know? How do we know?
How do we know? Yeah. How do we hold onto that? When we feel like our whole life is spiraling out of control, when we feel like we are in the pit of suffering.
How do we know that we are loved by God, that God is still present with us and that we are not being punished, that there is a force of good and an intent of good always poured in our direction.
Yeah, I see. That's where prayer comes in and how prayer can help with hope because you're going to reach out and you're going to say, God, show me your real.
So I think that's why prayer is such an important indicator because no matter what your belief system is. You want prayer when you're dying and no matter what your belief system is, you want prayer when you're sick or when you have to see the doctor, which is a sign that something's not exactly right with you.
That what is prayer? Prayer is the connection with the divine. It is the direct conversation with God. In many different religions. There are some barriers to having a connection with God. You have to be a good person. You have to do X, Y, and Z. You have to purify yourself. You might have to go through extraordinary rituals, pay a lot of money to get those rituals done.
You know, it's, there's a lot of barriers to get to God, but when you actually get to the end of life, Screw the barriers now, like personally, there is only one religion. I know that you can go directly to God and there is no barriers to having that conversation with him in prayer. And that is the one true God.
That has expressed himself as the creator that we learn about in the Bible. He has shown us that he took on the burden of all of those barriers to come to him because we are truly different than, than a divine person, right? We are, we are not the divine. We are not fully spirit. We have this body of the soul.
We have a lot of warring things within us. There's a reason why there's all these concepts of purification before coming to the divine, because we're very different from the divine. So for us to really have. Fellowship to be present with the divine. We really have to be a little different, you know, to get there.
But one, I agree with you that the gospel really is good news because in the gospel we find we don't have to jump through all those hoops because someone else did for us. And it was God himself who came down. Incarnated himself to choose to go through all those horrible hoops and barriers that are impossible to achieve in order to bring us directly in contact with God and to bring us to the place where we can pray and actually know someone's listening.
Someone can communicate back to us that we're not abandoned, that we're not unloved unseen punished, unknown. To get to that place. We really need a mediator. And I think that's where a lot of people have that religious struggle because a lot of religions tell us you're not good enough. You're not good enough.
You're not good enough. You deserve being punished. You deserve being alive. You deserve being neglected, but that's not the story of the gospel. And so that truly, I believe is a foundational answer to these. questions of religious struggle, but also I think answers a lot of questions that we have about general existing.
Why am I made? What's the purpose of me being here on it on earth? What's the purpose of you living a long life? If it's so miserable, if I'm going to be suffering, if no one seems to be kind, if the world seems to be a horrible place, you know, and to be able to answer those questions also requires some bigger answers outside of us
and I think outside of a lot of the philosophy we have.
Wow. So make it more simple. What is the gospel?
So I want to use the words that God incarnate used when he was on earth. Okay. Because he said I'm coming, I'm here to bring good news. To the broken to the oppressed, to those who are in chains, he says, I'm here to break free the chains of the oppressed.
I'm here to bring justice to those who have been victims of injustice. I'm here to bring sight to those who are blind. I'm here to bring strength and healing to those who are lame. I'm here to bring what he said, the kingdom of God. That's what Jesus said. He came to bring when he came to the earth, the kingdom of God is what I would say, a ministry or a kingdom or a reality of reconciliation and redemption.
And those are really big words that we throw around a lot in a Christian community. But what that really means. The ability to reverse entropy, the ability to reverse evil, the ability to use what is evil to actually bring about good. The only power strong enough in this world to do that is something beyond this world.
And that's in the form of Jesus. So simply bringing it down to healthcare. When I am sitting with a patient who's about to die, they've chose not just palliative with. We have no more treatments for you. We have no ability to solve the root cause of your issue. All we can do is alleviate your symptoms and the runway to the end is within sight.
That's palliative. Hospice is the runway is here. Thank you. We are just giving you comfort, comfort, comfort, and the end is here. For patients like that. A lot of times there's a lot of a huge emotional response for them to choose that kind of care. There are no, there's no more fight involved the end this year.
There's nothing we can do. Often I ask them, are you afraid? And I've had patients say yes. And I said, why are you afraid? I don't know what death is. Like. I don't know what the end is. I don't know what happens after I die. I've had patients just lay there, barely able to speak with tubes coming in and out.
And they're not worried about the tubes. They're worried about what's going to happen next because there's so much uncertainty really at the end of the day, it's the fear of death and death is the ultimate evil. I mean, it's the ultimate expression of entropy debts. There's no more. It's completely elemental inanimate object.
And we don't know what happens to herself after that. When we become dust in the ground, you know, when our corpse decays, like what happens to us, it's frightening. The only answer to that is found in the one who defeated death and that one is Jesus! It's really interesting, you know, that we're having this episode.
At the time of our recording, whenever it gets posted, but we're recording this the week after Easter, which is when we celebrate a victory over death. And that's really the only story I know in the world where a divine being overcame death. I think that's the ultimate form of good news to us. That's the ultimate form of gospel is that there is a resurrection that there is new life, that there is the ability to take evil and death and entropy and just the horrors of suffering and pain and turn it into new life and turn it into a promise to future and turn it ultimately into hope.
A bigger story of justice. Our bodies, decaying, dying and getting buried into the ground and becoming one with mother nature. Again, you know, there's a bigger story to that. And ultimately I think that is the good news that God gives us that there is a life beyond, and that life is not just a, a spirit noting in the essences, but truly a grounded, practical, real connection with the ultimate source of love and presence.
And. goodness, kind of flowing from him, which is God himself at a very practical, tangible presence within that we can look forward to even after death. Yes.
And how reassuring for now that we can see that he would be willing to do that for us? I
mean, Yes. Yes. That I think is the anchor that we can place our hope in.
If God himself is willing to come down and experience all of the awfulness of what it means to be human. I mean, we experienced that day in and day out. Especially when you see people with health conditions, I mean, it is absolute misery to be alive. When you think about the numbness you feel in your fingers or the constant chronic pain, or the fact that your kidneys don't work in your GI system gets backed up and that your body gets bloated and that your skin wrinkles and that you've experienced pain and death and soreness and all of that in your body day in and day out.
It's misery. I mean, no one wants to live that way. That's why we're constantly in search for better health. That's why we listened to your podcast because we don't want to live that way. We want good quality of life. So ultimately we are in search of, the promise of new life, wholeness connection love.
So when we talk about health, as I say again, it's not just that physical release of aches and sores, but it's also being known and loved and accepted and belonging and purposeful and contributing. And you know, all of that is part of health, knowing that. Exists for us. We know that exists for us because we know God was willing to sacrifice so much to enter into our suffering, to experience it along with us, to take on all of the evil and pain and suffering of our human existence.
All of it to the very full extent of it. And especially someone who's never experienced that before, because he was perfect. He was divinely God. He never needed to experience that. But for him to condescend to experience that, take that on ultimately experience the ex the fullest extent of evil in this world.
Like betrayal, torture, just mocking, scorning. Being put down and treated as less than it's one of the worst forms of evil, you know, and that's really what he experienced along with extreme physical separation to the point where he was unrecognizable as a human and it's still alive, but just flesh mutilated to take that on and to ultimately die, which we are all afraid of dying to know that he would be willing to do.
That means that he truly loves us. There's really, there's something. There was a definition of love that says greater love. No man has seen any greater love than this. That one would give up his life for another. And I can't imagine a greater expression of love for me. And someone willing to give up their life for me and really take something that they were never meant to take for me, that's really what we have in the story of Jesus and in the true story of who God is and who he has been and who he truly is now.
So that is really, I think, an anchor for us to anchor our hope in and gives us the ability to then. Have a solid foundation that we can begin to answer some of these other questions, if we've never been able to answer them before.
Yeah, it really, really does. I think really at the end of the day, that's why talking about spiritual health is important for us to be able to then address some of our physical health issues, because we really need to have a grounded place to have that hope.
And, you know, something that Jesus says is that out of me, there are streams of living water. So it doesn't, it's not just a one-time hope. I mean, sometimes we get hope and like, you won the lottery. Yay. I have my next five years to look for it, but that hope is very transient, but Jesus has added him, comes streams of living water, and it's a stream that never runs dry.
So it's a hope that keeps giving and giving and giving. That's why we can anchor ourselves in that. And it doesn't, it will never disappoint us. And it's a place that we can really put our anchor in. It's like a strong rock, a strong refuge tower that we can really run to when everything feels like it's falling apart.
It really, isn't a really solid place to grab ourselves as humans. Oh,
I am so excited about this. I've got, I'm starting a list in my mind of who I'm going to share this with, because this is so good. Thank
you. You know, it really is good. God's message to us of good news. So it's really just good because it is a fundamentally absolute truth.
Good. There's no denying that. That is a really fundamentally. really comforting answer, like the source of all comfort for us that we can really, no matter what comes our way, we can get ourself in the source
of life, our source of health or source of comfort.
Yes. And I think as we lean into the truth of that story for us, we actually find the way.
To help. And there might be, whoever is listening, you know, there might be a lot of complications to your story, whether it's health complications, or maybe relationship complications or life issue complications, or whatever, it might seem too much to handle. But the crazy thing is that this source of hope, it provides tangible ways to get through whatever you're facing and I've experienced that
firsthand. And I've also seen patients who've experienced that firsthand, but there is a way that feels peaceful through it all. And it might not be the way that you've imagined it. And it might feel a little bit out of control for you, but it's still a peaceful way through whatever chaos you might be experiencing.
That is real hope too. Yes.
It's real hope, but it's real health. Yeah.
Yeah. Yeah. It's real health because like, as you say, like health is not just that specific disease, but it's the wholeness within ourselves.
I am so grateful that you're here again today. Marissa. Thank you. I can do this with you over and over and over again on different topics.
Yeah, I think the application is pretty broad. I love reading research on different topics and applying it kind of holistically to these foundational, philosophical, existential questions and spiritual questions that we have, that shape our lives. So thank you for having me and thank you so much for letting me share and listening.
It's so my pleasure!.
One of my favorite tools for emotional and spiritual health is a Sojourner. Sojourners are leather-bound notebooks that come in different sizes, styles, and colors. They are beautiful. Useful. And I'm hoping they'll help you as much as they have me. If you've ever been like me and thought. I really need to journal or, wow. That was amazing. I need to remember that.
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The Sojourner I carry has really encouraged me in my journey. When I need reminders of why I'm thankful when I want to see where God has answered prayers or write down what I'm feeling, these really, really help. It's a, not just for profit business. And it gives to causes that you can be proud to support. So you have one more reason to feel great about carrying your own beautiful, fine quality Sojourner.
One more thing. No matter how successful we become, we all have a longing unfulfilled. I've heard it said by some that our design seems to have a God-shaped hole.
That needs filling. And the only thing that can fill that hole. Is God. it's funny. Some of the research that I've seen says that. Spiritual health improves your quality of life. What does that mean? It makes you a little happier if you're having some challenges. Yes. That's part of it. But
spiritual fulfillment or knowing God gives peace that passes understanding. It's the joy that strengthens us to handle when life doesn't go our way. And it's the source of love. That helps us to love others better.