The weekend visit with friends was fine in every way, until the last morning when I became immobilized by pain in my back and stomach. I retreated to a bedroom and prayerfully sought God's help. I had learned many years earlier, through studying and practicing Christian Science, that pain is not something to be endured; it's something to be healed.
So I endeavored to glimpse the spiritual fact that God is all-loving and the only genuine creator; that as His loved creation, His spiritual, indestructible likeness, I could not suffer. But my freedom seemed far-off. My wife proposed to drive us home - some two hours away - while I continued praying.
After a few miles the thought came to me, ''Why don't you sing?'' I quickly retorted, ''I don't feel like singing.'' But the thought came again, so I took a copy of the Christian Science Hymnal from our car's glove compartment. The first hymn I opened to included this refrain, I need Thee, O, I need Thee; Every hour I need Thee; O bless me now, my Saviour, I come to Thee. n1 I found my heart growing hopeful and my voice growing stronger.
n1 Hymnal, No. 137.
I turned to another hymn: ''Here, O God, Thy healing presence/Lifts our thoughts from self and sin . . . .'' n2 I was particularly taken with the word ''Here'' in this verse. I agreed that right in our car God's healing love was a present, freeing force. I didn't need to wait until we arrived home in order to find comfort.
n2 Ibid., No. 109.
I sang for what must have been thirty minutes or more. With each hymn my gratitude to God heightened. Joy, confidence, and peace filled my heart. Soon I was healed. The disability could not remain in the presence of my joyful acknowledging of God's uninterrupted love for His creation.
The Bible is filled with healing songs of praise to Almighty God. At midnight , in the darkness of a Roman prison with their feet confined in stocks, ''Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God.'' n3 They were soon free from bondage. The Psalmist observed, ''It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High.'' n4
n3 Acts 16:25.
n4 Psalms 92:1.
The deepest purpose of song is to recognize and celebrate the omnipresence and omnipotence of God's goodness. What a joy it is to understand that sickness, sin, and every form of evil have no real position or legitimacy in His omnipresence! Speaking of the victory over all sin, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes, ''A louder song, sweeter than has ever before reached high heaven, now rises clearer and nearer to the great heart of Christ; for the accuser is not there, and Love sends forth her primal and everlasting strain.'' n5
n5 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 568.
Since God is infinite, there is an infinite variety of ways we can approach Him. Our prayer may take the form of deep silent communion or jubilant praise. We may draw closer to God by studying the inspired words of another. Or perhaps simply writing of our love for Deity will awaken us to His saving goodness. We can turn to God, without hesitation, in whatever fashion serves to rouse us to the fact of His powerful care.
Our ability to sing praises unto God comes to us from God. Let's exercise this Love-bestowed privilege. Let's sing in adoration of our Father, not merely with an eye on what this might bring to us, but with a heart that accepts and rejoices in His present goodness. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Sing unto the Lord; for he hath done excellent things. Isaiah 12:5