Can a sick person be healthy.

How the head of ERF Plus lives with health restrictions.Fitness, organic food, superfoods: the trend toward a healthy lifestyle continues unabated and is even taking on religious characteristics in some cases. Yet this trend lacks a holistic approach to health, such as Stefan Loss experienced firsthand. He knows today: Even a sick person can be healthy. Very even.

There are few things as important as health. Surveys show that nine out of ten Germans want nothing more than a healthy life. Of course, this primarily means physical health. With Fitnessstipps and nourishing consultation the relevant magazines earn therefore good money. Recommended instead of burgers and fries: fresh fruit and vegetables, grains and soya. Everything in the indication of a healthy. Living as long as possible. For some, the desire to live healthily takes on almost religious characteristics. The psychologist and theologian Dr. Trend towards more and more fitness. Even more skeptical about healthier nutrition. Soberly he states: "There are people who no longer live properly at all, who only live preventively and then die healthily, but even those who die healthily are definitely dead."

"There are people who do not live properly at all, they only live preventively and then die healthy, but also who dies healthy is definitely dead. Psychologist. Theologian Dr. Manfred Lutz)

"The spirit is willing, but the flesh . "

Despite all the fitness tips and diet plans, the physical health of Germans is not very good. The average German is overweight, does not exercise enough, eats the wrong things and drinks too much alcohol. These are all factors that shorten life significantly. Alone the consequences of alcohol consumption kill around 74 people every year.000 people. Scientists ame that more than 70 percent of all illnesses in western industrialized countries are due to a lifestyle of poor nutrition, lack of exercise and obesity. But also nicotine consumption. The already mentioned alcohol consumption contribute. For numerous illnesses a connection to the life-style and to the nutrition is clearly proven, so for example for heart cycle illnesses, diabetes mellitus and cancer.

These facts are well known, often enough the media report about it. Obviously without lasting success, because only just under a third are satisfied with their own health. And with increasing age, the fear of developing cancer, dementia, Parkinson's disease or osteoporosis increases, because the likelihood of these also increases.

If health is really as important to us as the surveys would have us believe, why don't we take much more care of our bodies?? Doing sports, eating healthy and avoiding everything that makes us sick? "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak!"(Matthew 26:41) – this biblical quotation is often heard in this context. People prefer to take the elevator instead of climbing stairs, opting for schnitzel and French fries instead of a fresh salad. And after work, the after-work beer, a bag of chips and the Champions League on TV is more tempting than a glass of water after a workout at the gym.

But anyone who believes that a healthy body will help them find the meaning of life, the peace that the soul seeks, is barking up the wrong tree. Already Jesus warned against orienting oneself only on outward appearances: "What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world (and thus also a fit body), but in doing so damages his soul."(Mark 8:36) Whoever speaks about health must always keep both in mind: the body and the soul.

"Those who believe that a healthy body helps to find the meaning of life, the peace that the soul seeks, are on the wrong track," said Stefan Loss, Leader ERF Plus.

Body and soul are one whole

When God speaks of man, he always means the whole man. This includes both the perishable shell, the body, and the soul. Everything is connected. So it seems understandable that what happens on the inside of a person affects their outside as well. This holistic view of the human being is the basis for the medical specialty of psychosomatics. The term indicates what is meant: The psyche has an effect on the body, the soma. For example, some people have "learned" that they can compensate for injuries with food. When they don't feel loved or are rejected, they eat. Alcoholics have "learned" that certain things can be suppressed and repressed with alcohol – albeit with fatal consequences. In the case of diseases such as eating disorders or alcohol addiction, it is therefore usually not helpful to work on the symptoms. You have to go to the root. Exactly this is the approach of psychosomatics. Body and soul are connected and influence each other. If the soul is not healthy, then the body feels it.

"Body and soul are connected and influence each other. If the soul is not healthy, then the body feels it."

Can a sick person be healthy?

But how does it look the other way round? What happens, for example, to the soul of a person who is chronically ill?? Certainly the soul can be affected by a sick body. But that is not a must. I myself have been 100 percent severely disabled for more than a year due to a genetic disease. Nevertheless, when someone asks me how I'm doing, I answer, "Fantastic!" And that is not meant sarcastically. I am physically ill. Will remain so all my life. My soul has also had to take a lot of punishment in the last few months. But today I would say: My soul is healthy. In any case, I am not consumed by fears, bitter about my fate or angry at God. Although I have experienced all these phases in the last three years. But thank God it did not stop there.

"I have been 100 percent severely disabled for more than a year due to a genetic disease. Nevertheless, when someone asks me how I am, I answer: Fantastic!" (Stefan Loss)

Since 2013 I know that I have cystic kidneys, a severe kidney disease that sooner or later leads to kidney failure. There is no cure. So in the fall of 2013, I had to come to terms with the thought that my life would soon be severely limited. I have been a dialysis patient since the summer of 2016. Three times a week I had to go to the machine for 5 hours each time, which filtered toxins from my blood and water from my body. I was on the waiting list for a transplantation. The standard waiting time is 8-10 years. The only glimmer of hope was a living donation. After countless tests and examinations it was clear that my wife could donate one of her healthy kidneys to me. Although we have different blood types, the operation was possible thanks to the most modern technology. After a six-hour procedure, I woke up in the morning on Ash Wednesday 2017 with a new kidney. An indescribable feeling! Since then, she has been doing her job and I feel like a newborn. My wife also survived the operation well. I have not been dependent on life support machines since then. My body is working again almost like it used to. That's exactly why, when someone asks me today how I'm doing, I answer, "Fantastic!" – Something else does not even occur to me.

The months of uncertainty and the time spent on dialysis were a tough test, and not just physically. Of course I have struggled with God. I cried to him, complaining why this was happening to me of all people. It has not changed anything – at least not in my physical condition.

A new view of what is essential

Little by little my view has shifted during this time. At that time I understood a statement from the Gospel of Matthew in a completely new way: "And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but are not able to kill the soul" (Matthew 10:28). So my body, my body, was at the mercy of other people. My soul not. Even if I can't protect my body – I can definitely take care of the well-being of my soul.

"Even if I can't protect my body – I can certainly take care of the well-being of my soul" (Psalm 121:1-2)." (Stefan Loss)

I could understand the prayerful man who whispered to his soul: "Why do you grieve, my soul, and are so troubled within me?? Rely on God, for I will give thanks to him, because he is my help and my God" (Psalm 42:12). Again and again I have experienced through little finger pointers that God is close to me. For example, just before my operation, when Psalm 121 was read aloud at the neighboring bed: "I lift up mine eyes unto the mountains, whence cometh my help?? My help comes from the Lord who created heaven and earth" (Psalm 121:1-2). What divine timing.

Many examples from the Bible and old songs have helped me to understand that the soul is a part of me that I can take care of myself and that I have to take care of it. For example, with the soliloquy in the beautiful song: "You my soul sing, wake up and sing beautifully."Or also passages from the Psalms, where people call out to God in their distress and give courage to their own souls.

I have had to come to terms with the fact that my life here on earth is finite, probably shorter than average, and certainly not pain-free to the end. I have to live with the risk that my body can reject the foreign kidney at any time, that I have to take medication for life that has unpleasant side effects. But this challenging time also gave me a new perspective on what is really essential in life: being reconciled with oneself, one's own history and being reconciled with God. This helps me to see things differently and also to classify illness and suffering differently. In Bonhoeffer I found a statement that brings this to the point in a challenging way: "Whoever knows that he sees suffering and tribulation in his life only as something hostile and evil can recognize that he has not yet found peace with God."

"Whoever knows that he sees suffering and affliction in his life only as something hostile and evil, can see that he has not yet found peace with God. Peace with oneself. Peace with God. This is the basis for a truly healthy life, for a person who takes responsibility for himself and his lifestyle, for his body and soul.

Holistically healthy

Being healthy is much more than a pain-free, physically untroubled life! To be truly healthy means that I take responsibility for myself. For my body, so give it a balanced and healthy diet, enough exercise and fresh air. This has a guaranteed effect on my inner well-being. Taking care of my health also means doing what is good for my soul. For me to seek God's nearness, to bring my anxiety and distress to Him, to unload my worries to Him, and to find my peace with Him. With the God who promises me that he has only good things in mind for me: a fulfilled, healthy life in a holistic sense. Even if it doesn't always seem that way from the outside.

Can a sick person be healthy

© Carsten Meier / ERF

Stefan Loss

After studying in Heidelberg in 1990, Stefan Lob landed as a volunteer at ERF. Afterwards, I worked as a TV writer and editor abroad and developed and supervised TV programs for ERF Medien. From 2000 editorial director at ERF Fernsehen, since 2015 he has been head of ERF Plus.

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Comments (6)

I believe we must learn that everything here on earth is "for a time" is. Sure, it's not easy to leave something behind, not being able to do sports anymore, not being able to travel anymore and also to allow new priorities in … more everyday life. But, if we are grateful that we were ever allowed to have this and now become willing to accept that a new chapter is beginning, (doors closing) God opens new doors for us and we experience the last chapters as the most interesting ones. A new dimension opens up that we can never experience without pain and accentuation. The best is yet to come, is in the future and not in the past. I wish Mr. Loss and his family all the best on this path of discovery and above all the companionship of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Thank you for this article, also for the fact that Stefan Loss speaks honestly about his own feelings in the past (struggling with God, etc.). The husband of my friend died a few days ago … more Diagnosis" malignant cancer" get. I will send this article to them and pray that they will also get encouragement from it.

Dear Mr. Lob, thank you for this beautiful testimony of faith. I, too, am chronically ill and have been living for years with various, increasing limitations. In the course of time I have learned to focus on … more the many beautiful little things in life and consciously look for positive aspects and occurrences. That simply does me good. I have arranged my life in such a way that I can do the necessary work and, in addition, do many things that bring me joy, give me a boost and make me forget my limitations. Again and again I felt and experienced the power from above. For this I am grateful from the bottom of my heart. I am Matthew 6:34; 1. I have made St. Peter 5:7 and Romans 8:28 very important pillars of my life. In spite of some hard times I have been able to keep my joy of life.

A tremendous testimony of the love of God! I am also in a lot of pain, my muscles give me a hard time, but my God carries me through day by day! Praise be to God in our Lord Jesus Christ!

I was very impressed by this report. I like to listen to Stefan Loss on ERF, now in a completely different way. Thank you!

Dear editorial team, thank you for this article ! I am also in very poor health. My sense of life value has clearly decreased! I suffer pain day and night ! I Hader … more also very much with me and with God ! I do not succeed in seeing good out of the situation! Through the report, I have become thoughtful ! God's love for me is not dependent on me being well! New food for thought!

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