Spirit Sightings

July 3, 2016: Voice of Unexpected Wisdom

From Ray McGinnis

Vinegar has been around for over 7,000 years. It was first discovered around 5,000 BC by accident when some grape juice turned into wine and then into vinegar. In French, the word for vinegar means “sour wine.” It can be made from a range of carbohydrates such as dates, yams, beets, carrots, and apples. Vinegar was initially used to help preserve food. But, over time, people found that it could also be used to address a number of health issues.

For instance, apple cider vinegar might seem almost like a novelty because it’s not a common ingredient outside of a recipe that calls for a teaspoon of it in a sauce or dressing. But modern studies are confirming the common wisdom of ancient peoples, who used apple cider vinegar as a deodorant, to remove dandruff, to ease sinus congestion, sore throat, and digestive problems.

In our modern world, we have the convenience of drug stores and pharmacies. A prescription is often easily obtained, or we pick up non-prescription products that we’ve seen advertised on TV. We may frown upon the wisdom of our ancestors or consider it merely quaint. But often products like apple cider vinegar can open a window to a simpler way to address basic hygiene, household cleaning, and maintenance of our own health.

Chicago physician Dr. Joseph Mercola, author of the 2015 New York Times bestseller Effortless Healing: 9 Simple Ways to Sidestep Illness, Shed Excess Weight, and Help Your Body Fix Itself, recommends apple cider vinegar. A 2014 study reported in the Journal of Food Science suggested that introducing apple cider vinegar into one’s diet helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Explore…2 Kings 5:1–14

  • What is Naaman’s ailment?
  • What wisdom does the slave girl from Israel possess?
  • Why is Naaman reluctant to wash in the river Jordan?
  • How might Naaman react today if he was told to start using apple cider vinegar? What common wisdom do you possess?
  • How receptive are others to what you have to share?

Prayer links…

  • In your wisdom, O God, you created a rich harvest of herbs, plants, trees, fruits, vegetables, grains, and seeds from the land, and equally abundant harvests from the rivers and seas as well. We gain wisdom from these ordinary things, about their ability to sustain and balance life. Help us to deepen our relationship with the world around us so that we, like Naaman, may wade into the river and be healed. In Christ we pray. Amen.

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