Literally Making Yourself Sick
1 Peter 5:7
“Casting all your care upon him, for he careth for you.”
We sometimes hear of a person worrying so much about something that they become obsessed with fear. We talk about someone being “worried sick.”
A number of studies have now confirmed that continued grief, worry, or fear can literally make us sick. Scientists are even learning just how this works. A state of worry, fear, or grief causes chemical changes in the brain, pituitary gland and adrenal glands. These changes ultimately have the effect of weakening our immune system that protects us from disease. As a result, a wandering cold or flu bug – or even a skin infection that might be easily handled by our immune system – can get out of control.
Continued fear, worry or grief can also cripple our body’s ability to fight cancer – something scientists tell us our bodies are doing all the time. Other changes in blood chemistry during these periods can also increase the risk of stroke or heart attack.
While worry over circumstances will not help in the least, it does mean that we have forgotten – or perhaps never understood – that it is God who is in charge and not ourselves. Yes, He is in charge of everything in this universe. While God always wants us to learn from the circumstances, He loves us and even invites us to cast all our worries and concerns on Him.
Dear Heavenly Father, I confess that I often forget how intimately involved in my life You want to be. Give me increased faith to cast all my cares on You and not take them back to myself after a little while. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Gina Maranto, “Emotions: How They Affect Your Body,” Discover, November 1984, pp. 35-38. Photo: Courtesy of Ignas Kukenys. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.