Reading time: two minutes. I like the concept of substantial healing. We’ve been talking about the walk of faith, this side of heaven where things will never be perfect, but any part of our lives can be touched by the healing power of the love of Christ and significantly improved. You get a double topic this week as I wrap up so we can start a new series for Lent. In our programs I’ve clustered Physical and Financial Wellness together with Vocational because the first two serve the latter. It’s hard to throw myself fully into my various callings in life, especially my calling into Christian ministry, if financial problems are a constant source of anxiety and distraction or if my body will not physically permit me to get up and go serve. No matter where you are physically or financially, there’s help. We all inherit physical infirmities from our parents; some more noticeable and limiting than others. Stewardship of our Tissue (the 4th “T”) is a lifelong discipline. The old saying about, “If I had known I was going to live so long I’d have taken better care of myself” contains a lot of wisdom. Some of our limitations are unavoidable, brought on by heredity and the aging process, but some of our limitations are purely attributed to lifestyle choices. Please remember that we have a God of grace who knows our weakness and forgives our sins. And we have an empowering God who has sent His Holy Spirit who builds in us the fruit of self-control as we seek to make healthier choices in the future. As you join with all of us who struggle against our poor choices, find comfort in God’s grace, comfort in His work of substantial healing of our bodies as we grow more healthy, and comfort in the occasional bowl of ice cream or long, restful nap! You deserve it! The same applies to financial health. One of God’s graces to His body the Church is to surround us with people of different gifts. You’re a short phone call away from financial counsel and advice whenever you need it. Concordia Plans members can call the EAP number on the back of your insurance card. Your Thrivent representative or other financial advisor would love to help you with budget planning resources or with college or retirement savings planning. Your district office staff would far rather steer you toward assistance than intervene in an emergency. By the grace of God and the strength of the fellowship of the body of Christ, things can be better tomorrow. Thousands of your sisters and brothers have turned around physical and financial challenges. That’s substantial healing. I wish you the best in your journey to wholeness! Thanks for reading. Do you serve in a multiple staff setting in a church, Lutheran school, university or social service ministry? Discover how a Ministry Team Wellness Workshop can help enhance your team ministry by building the unity, spiritual life and communication essential to partnership in ministry. Contact Program Director Darrell Zimmerman for more information.