MANY people might be interested to learn that there is a way to prevent symptoms of ill health from developing into incapacity and suffering. That way is the healing power of Christianity that Christ Jesus practiced. His words ``Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free''1 point to the naturalness of healing from a purely metaphysical standpoint, as he did. They point to unchanging divine law, which we can turn to with certainty. This is what I did one morning recently when I began to feel the onset of illness. At first I was tempted to resign myself to discomfort and bed rest. But at this point I thought, ``I'm not helpless before this. There's something more that I can do.'' I began to pray as I was learning to do through my study of Christian Science, to realize my true, spiritual selfhood as the child of God. I thought about some of the things Christian Science teaches, which have their basis in the Bible: that God is the only genuine cause, the sole creator of the universe, including man; that the true nature of creation is spiritual, wholly good, expressing God's nature; and that from the standpoint of absolute truth, all cause and effect are spiritual, and all is the perfect handiwork of God, divine Spirit.
In particular, this statement from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy2 brought me a reassuring sense of God's healing power: ``Banish the belief that you can possibly entertain a single intruding pain which cannot be ruled out by the might of Mind, and in this way you can prevent the development of pain in the body.''3
After a short time, no more than a couple of hours, the aches had disappeared, I could swallow normally, and the sneezing and sniffling had stopped. How relieved and thankful I was to be spared incapacity and discomfort! And how wonderful that anyone can develop and depend on this same spiritual understanding.
Through the study of Christian Science we're helped to see what this healing truth is, the truth found in the Bible's pages. It's that God is omnipotent and entirely good and that man is the image of God. As the likeness of his creator, man forever expresses the divine nature. And because God is Spirit, man is spiritual. To be sure, we appear to be merely flesh and bones and subject to suffering. But physicality isn't the actual or ultimate substance of our being because it's not the substance of our creator. Man as the image of God is incorporeal, untouched by debilitating physical conditions.
Because you and I are God's offspring, we can't really be deprived of our Father-Mother God's care or robbed of the spiritual well-being He provides. We are not actually at the mercy of whatever ailment happens to be prevalent, not helpless before it, as my experience illustrates.
Mrs. Eddy writes in Science and Health, ``Instruct the sick that they are not helpless victims, for if they will only accept Truth, they can resist disease and ward it off, as positively as they can the temptation to sin.'' She continues a few lines afterward: ``The fact that Truth overcomes both disease and sin reassures depressed hope. It imparts a healthy stimulus to the body, and regulates the system. It increases or diminishes the action, as the case may require, better than any drug, alterative, or tonic.''4
Spiritual healing in Christian Science is more than a recovery of health; it includes moral strengthening. Turning to God in prayer and relying on Him for healing constitute the genuine Christian way of salvation. This holy activity regenerates and purifies one's thought and life.
We have a God-given right not only to enjoy sound health but to recover it through spiritual means when it is threatened. Jesus has furnished us with a precedent, indicating that as we follow his example we can learn what God is and how to avail ourselves of His power.
The Bible is full of assurances of God's healing help. These are not empty promises. They come to life for us in clear-cut healing when we are equipped with practical knowledge of God's eternal law of harmony and of our relationship to Him. Empowered with the Christly understanding that a study of Christian Science brings, we can turn to God for every aspect of our well-being, including health.
1John 8:32. 2The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. 3Science and Health, p. 391. 4Ibid., p. 420. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: I am the Lord that healeth thee.l Exodus 15:26