Sometimes we may feel as though disease were inevitable. Consciously or unconsciously we think that because everybody has a cold, we can expect to get sick, too. Or if we hear of a disease that ``always'' strikes someone of our particular age or background, we may believe that we're vulnerable too. If we are thinking of ourselves as primarily (or totally) material beings, the expectation of disease is understandable. But Christ Jesus taught a completely different view of man. He spoke of God as Spirit and described our relationship to God in spiritual terms. He also healed many serious diseases: leprosy, internal bleeding, blindness, lameness, insanity. He made clear that he was doing this work through the power of God alone. John's Gospel tells that the Master declared, ``The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.''
Jesus not only understood God to be all-powerful Love, he also knew that man is inseparable from Him. And to be forever united with God, Spirit, means that man must be spiritual. And union of finite matter with infinite Spirit is impossible.
By the same token, it is impossible to think of Spirit as being sick. This stems from the fact that Spirit is not material. And by extension, this means that in truth you and I are not material but spiritual because we are the man God, Spirit, made. This doesn't mean we ignore illness. It means that through prayer we can understand our true identity in spiritual terms and in this way experience actual physical healing.
To do this requires a willingness to think spiritually and to give up behavior that would oppose or deny our spirituality. To think in spiritual terms is to look at life from an infinite perspective. Genuine love, joy, peace, intelligence, have no limits because they are truly qualities of God, of Spirit. What's more, because God is Love, He is always bestowing on us -- if we will accept it -- the ability to express such qualities and to perceive that our real identity is spiritual, not material.
Coupling this spiritual outlook with an understanding of God as Love will do much to free us from the feeling that sickness is inevitable. For example, last year there were a number of times when colleagues and friends became quite ill with severe influenza. This made me feel pressured to be at work, since others were out. But on a few occasions during this period, I too found myself feeling quite ill, yet I felt I had to go to work!
As I prayed about this, I thought of this statement by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: ``Rise in the strength of Spirit to resist all that is unlike good. God has made man capable of this, and nothing can vitiate the ability and power divinely bestowed on man.''
This statement helped me to see that I did not need to accept sickness as inevitable. Because I was in truth spiritual, disease -- which is unlike good -- could have no power over me. I also recognized that a God who is Love could not possibly be the source of suffering and that omnipotent Love was fully able to open my eyes to my true spiritual nature. In each case, I was quickly freed of all the symptoms of illness.
This healing power of God helps us to see that we were never meant to be ill, that sickness really has nothing to do with the kind of life divine Love gives its offspring. Understanding our infinite spirituality frees us from the limitations and weaknesses of the material body. Then we'll be able to help ourselves and others not to accept disease.