Dealing with complaints of the body

I had just started a new job when I was troubled by a painful condition in my shoulder. I was in such discomfort I was unable to sleep properly, but I took the opportunity of the quiet, wakeful hours to prayerfully deny that any material condition had actual power to curtail my activities or cause distress.

I had confidence that through understanding more clearly my relationship to God, the difficulty would be effectively dealt with. Over a number of years I have proved that God's sustaining power is right at hand to heal. A study of the Bible in the light of Christian Science has given me glimpses of the true, spiritual nature of God's creation - glimpses of the harmony and substantiality of this spiritual universe and the insubstantiality of matter. Fears, unhappiness, and pain that result from believing matter has power have many times been eliminated by my gaining a clearer understanding of spiritual being and my unity with God.

So I refused to accept this complaint of the body. I realized that because God is the only genuine source of life, the only true cause and intelligence, matter has no ability to produce any effects. It has no intelligence, power, or voice to dictate its terms. I affirmed my identity to be spiritual and forever intact. Whenever there were twinges of pain I refused to be impressed and instead dwelt more resolutely on the true concept of man, made in God's, Spirit's, image. I fell asleep early in the morning and woke up refreshed and ready for the day's work. Although some discomfort remained, it did not restrict my activities, and by the end of the week I was completely free.

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This healing showed the efficacy of resolutely refusing to accept discordant material conditions, whatever form they take. This is a lesson that is repeated many times in the Bible. Great Bible characters had to prove their fidelity to God's power, to Spirit's supremacy. Our Master, Christ Jesus, continually asserted his dominion over supposed material laws. His life and healing works proved the spiritual facts of God's creation: that God is the one Principle and cause and that everything in His creation expresses His goodness.

Paul points to the spiritual reality mankind yearns to understand: ''For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.'' n1 He also writes, ''The things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.'' n2

n1 Corinthians 5:1.

n2 Corinthians 4:18.

In the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy n3 brings out the importance of affirming the supremacy of Spirit over material conditions. Her authority and our authority come directly from the Bible, and Christ Jesus' teachings in particular. In one place she states, ''Mentally contradict every complaint from the body, and rise to the true consciousness of Life as Love, - as all that is pure, and bearing the fruits of Spirit.'' n4

n3 Mrs. Eddy is the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.

n4 Science and Health, p. 391.

In the experience I related at the beginning of this article I was encouraged and sustained by trust in Scriptural authority and by the demonstration of those today who, following Jesus' example, are proving the power of God. Even small proofs bring joy and confidence and are important steps in understanding man's true, spiritual nature - an understanding so essential for the redemption of mankind. DAILY BIBLE VERSE O Lord my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me Psalms 30:2

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