Jo Acharya | January 5, 2022
What is wellness? Everywhere I look right now, people are talking about it. Some of the wackier extremes might make many of us roll our eyes at the very word, but the basics are sensible, encouraging us to look after our bodies, acknowledge our emotions, recognise our need for connection and meaning.
The Global Wellness Institute defines wellness as ‘the active pursuit of activities, choices and lifestyles that lead to a state of holistic health’, and I think that’s a pretty good definition. But here’s my second question, the one that led me to write Refresh: what does God think about wellness?
What does God think about wellness?
I strongly believe that God cares about every aspect of our lives. He created us and he knows what a healthy human life looks like. So whatever your individual circumstances, you’re not alone in figuring out what holistic wellness means for you. In the Bible, God gives us simple guiding principles that we can all apply to our own lives.
My goal in writing Refresh was to bring together thirteen aspects of life that the Bible speaks into with grace and truth that are relevant for us all. From rest to suffering, managing feelings to understanding grace, each topic is both practical and spiritual, concerned with inviting God into all our everyday activities, and recognising our whole lives as sacred and significant.
Wellness is personal, and the topics will apply to you differently than they do to me. That’s why Refresh is an interactive journal. The one short devotional each week is followed by prompts to think and pray about the topic as well as personal reflective questions, with plenty of space for writing your own notes too. You can work through it by yourself or with a loved one, and it will come alive with your own responses. It’s easy, low-energy and flexible.
Hope for the weary
I wrote Refresh for all kinds of people: those who are busy and struggle to spend time with God, and new believers wondering what following him might look like in their lives outside of church. Most of all I wrote for anyone who is weary in life or faith. Even before the pandemic, I wanted this book to be a ‘gentle companion’ for those in the valleys of the Christian journey. But these last two years have been traumatic and exhausting for so many of us, and I think we all feel pretty battered in all kinds of different ways. I hope that for some of us, Refresh can be a helpful way to slow down, breathe deeply and begin to re-engage with God.
Your life matters to God. You are precious to him. If you are thirsting for him in ‘a dry and parched land’ (Psalm 63:1) right now, make today the day you seek him, whether for the first or thousandth time.