Ellen G. White Writings

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The Medical Missionary

May 1, 1899

A Letter From Sister White

I am troubled in regard to our workers having difficulty with their lungs. In the night season I was instructed that as a people who believe the truth, and are laborers together with God, we must not forget that we are mortal. The words of Christ are to be heeded in all lines. His cautions are to be carefully cherished. I have had presented before me the fact that in your class of medical missionary students are those whose first work should be to understand themselves, to count the cost, and know when they begin to build whether they will be able to finish. Let not God be dishonored by the breaking down of the man in the process of educating him; for a broken-down, discouraged man is a burden to himself. To think that God will sustain him in any work he may plan to do, while he piles upon himself studies, and subjects himself to exposures that imperil health and life, thus violating the laws of nature, is contrary to the light that God has given.

Nature will not be imposed upon. She will not forgive the injuries done to the wonderful, delicate machinery. The pale, weak student is a continual reproach to health reform. Far better would it be for some to go outdoors, and work in the soil. Exercise is good. God designed that all parts of the human machinery should be worked. There should be regular hours for working, regular hours for eating. Without studying the exact cost of every article of food and providing the cheapest kind, procure those articles of food that are the best for making steam to run the living machinery. There is no extravagance in providing the articles of food that the system can best take and digest, and send vitality to every part of the living organism, that all may be nourished.

Each one has an individuality that no one can handle as successfully as himself. No one can submerge his identity in another. He must know himself, and give himself a favorable chance to come forth with an unbroken constitution, with a clear mind, with well-balanced nerves, and good digestion. With these he will be well fitted to do the work he has qualified himself to do. If he disqualifies himself by imprudence, by eating hurriedly because he has little time to spend, he is unfitting himself for ever doing sound, wholesome work.

This matter is worthy of consideration. We should keep the words of Christ ever before us. “Ye are not your own; for ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.” The first, highest, and most acceptable missionary work that the student can do is to obey God in all he does, in every action of the wonderful machinery God has devised in the formation of man. He is not to treat himself indifferently; he is to know himself, and work with an intelligent knowledge of what he can do, and do safely, and what he should avoid in eating and working. The Lord give you all understanding, is my prayer, that you who are laborers together with God may not give the impression by an appearance of ill health that you have mistaken your vocation. Unless human agents use wisdom in the exercise of brain, bone, and muscle, and treat themselves as under the jurisdiction of God, as God's property, as God's husbandry, as God's building, they will make grievous mistakes, and lie down in an untimely grave. “Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.” A disordered stomach means a disordered mind.

You are God's workmanship, and with the full sense of your accountability to God you are to treat yourselves aright. Give yourselves proper time to sleep. Those who sleep give nature time to build up and repair the waste of the organism. “Let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.”

“For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: that no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: that, according as it is written. He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.”

“We are laborers together with God; ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon, But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.... Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.”

Study carefully the first chapter of Ephesians, and let your understanding become enlightened. If you would build for time and for eternity, obey the laws of health. Place yourself in right relation to God as his property, caring for the wonderful husbandry and building of God. In nowise is this to be neglected. Ephesians 2:1-10, 19-22.

You can do the very best home missionary work by taking care of God's temple, not defiling it by gross indulgence of human passions, not imperiling it by neglect, by undue wear, and overwork. Do not presume to overtask this wonderful machinery till it gives way, and brings your work to a standstill.

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