Step 2: Real Hope and the Food Metaphor

While living in Japan, my wife’s uncle was diagnosed with liver cancer. The prognosis wasn’t good. In its advanced stage, the doctors indicated he had 6-months to live. But this man had an amazing wife who didn’t give up. She searched all over Japan for doctors who might have a promising cure. She found a holistic doctor who advised him that with a drastic change in his diet and a unique exercise program, he could stop feeding the cancerous cells and restore proper nutrient flow to the properly functioning cells.

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He abruptly changed to a strict diet of unseasoned raw tofu, uncooked ground brown rice and raw leafy green vegetables. No condiments like dressing or soy sauce were allowed. He also began an hour per day special exercise and stretching program and he began to improve little by little. The 6 months passed, and then a year and then 5 years. By that point there was no trace of cancer in his body. It has been over 20 years ago now and he is still doing well today. He continues to work hard and provide for his family at their small family lumber mill, and he continues his special diet, aided by his wife who grows and prepares much of their food.

Real hope involves real change.

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I remember my wife taking dinners to sisters who could no longer get out in our ward. Many were bed-ridden and several were struggling with diabetes. She would take them healthy food and encourage them to try to get up, even for a few minutes. They recognized the need to do so, but in some cases they admitted they still really liked their occasional ice cream and the exercise was just too hard. It is much easier to identify what we need to do than to actually do it and make real-life, permanent changes. Sadly several of these sisters passed away prematurely.

As an addiction recovery missionary, perhaps my biggest worry is that people go home feeling rejuvenated and hopeful without fully realizing that the temptations are still going to come and as one resists, the temptations become harder before getting easier. Real change will begin to overcome real withdrawal. Its hard. Satan won’t give up ground he has taken without a battle.

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Real hope for my uncle came because he honestly confronted his condition and followed through with a life-changing effort. Recovery from poor character traits, bad habits and addictions also requires the whole heart.

Real hope begins with saying, “I’m going to overcome. It no longer matters what others say or do or think. I will change what needs to change in my personal life. I will completely immerse myself in life and living and I will not despair. I will remember that the ‘little stuff’ matters. I will give my heart to my Savior and walk with him.”

Real hope comes knowing that if one fails, they must get up and try again and push forward, knowing the person who fell and got up is stronger than the one who fell in the first place.

Welcome to Step 2 of the recovery program: Hope… to believe that the power of God can restore you to complete spiritual health.

Real hope comes from our Savior, Jesus Christ.

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