DOUSING DOG DAYS

They're called dog days. The temperature and humidity climb as a hot haze settles over city and country. Many find comfort by jumping into the cool water of a lake or swimming pool. But this relief lasts only as long as the swim, making the water reminiscent of that which Christ Jesus referred to when he said, "Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again."

Can real belief be found? Yes. And Jesus mentiond it when he completed the above statemen, saying, "But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life." n1

N1 John 4:13, 14.

This "water" Jesus had to offer was the true understanding of God and his relation to man. Jesus was clearly aware of man's unbreakable unity with God. He taught this truth and demonstrated it in his healings. He proved the dominion of the Christ over material circumstances. We also can exercise this dominion, even over the effects of blistering hot weather.

One Old Testament Bible story specifically deals with the problem of heat. Three Hebrews who remained faithful to God rather than worship an idol were thrown into a furance by order of the king. The heat was so intense that the men who cast them into the flames were killed. But the Hebrews were unhurt, and when the king looked into the furnace he saw them and a fourth "like the Son of God" walking freely. The Hebrews emerged unscathed by the heat. n2 Their faithful adherence to God and their knowledge of His protection had brought the saving Christ to their aid.

n2 See Daniel 3.

Like the Hebrews in the story, we can overcome the adverse effects of heat. But to do so, we too must be faithful to the one Father-Mother God, persistently striving to know and live our oneness with Him. We can begin to learn that God, Spirit, is All and that man is His expression. Because this is true, events unlike God's goodness and harmony, such as the discomfort and sickness that sometimes bother people in hot weather, have no real power, for the all-loving Father could never have created them. As Mary Baker Eddy n3 says, "Symbols and elements of discord and decay are not products of the infinite, perfect, and eternal All.m From Love and from the light and harmony which are the abode of Spirit, only reflections of good can come." n4

n3 Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.

n4 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,m p. 280.

Illness -- whether associated with heat or anything else -- is always an offspring of misconceptions about God and man, of the belief in a mortal mind, an intelligence apart from God. Though the result of these misconceptions appears to be physical, both illness and its cause are mental and can be effectively destroyed by the truth of being. In Science and Healthm Mrs. Eddy explains how to treat a fever through Christian Science, writing: "Because the so-called material body is a mental concept and governed by mortal mind, it manifests only what that so-called mind expresses. Therefore, the efficient remedy is to destroy the patient's false belief by both silently and audibly arguing the true facts in regard to harmonious being, -- representing man as healthy instead of diseased, and showing that it is impossible for matter to suffer, to feel pain or heat, to be thirsty or sick." n5

n5 ibid.,m p. 376.

The coming of "the true facts" is the coming of the Christ, man's true, spiritual selfhood. Christly understanding washes false beliefs out of human consciousness. And once a belief is washed away, the deleterious effects that accompany it also disappear. As we understand God and our unity with Him, we see that heat cannot harm us. Then the Christ is walking with us, and we can find relief from heat and its adverse effects. And this relief is lasting, for the false belief has been destroyed -- replaced by an understanding of reality.

We all have an invitation to take a dip into the waters of spiritual understanding and douse those dog days. Tommorow: Taking fear out of summer heat DAILY BIBLE VERSE In the shadow of his hand hath he hid me. Isaiah 49:2

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