AT a recreational area in Mexico recently, a group of us took an unusual ride in the currents of an underground river. Al-though at intervals light came down on us in our life jackets, much of the trip was through dark, winding caves. It was my first trip, and every so often the leader would call out comfortingly: ``I promise we will end up in a beautiful lagoon.'' And sure enough we did-- laughing with delight!
This reminded me of the enrichment and sweetness that a promise brings to daily life. The Bible is filled with God's promises of love and care for us. Among these are eternal life, safety, abundance, healing. Since God, divine Love, is the only real power or presence in the universe, He is the giver of everything good, and He never breaks His promises. And God's promises are not subject to the warping of time or the uncertainty of probability and chance. Those concepts belong to mortal mind, the mythical opposite of the divine Mind, God. The divine law of good's supremacy excludes evil, recognizing only God's allness.
Christ Jesus, the master Christian, made a promise to his disciples--and to us!--in these words found in John's Gospel: ``Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also'' (14:12). One condition, then, for doing the works of Jesus Christ, for following his example as he expected us to do, is to understand and believe in the Christ, Truth, as lived and illustrated by Jesus. And trusting his promise this way is indispensable in spiritual healing.
Not long ago, I saw how powerful Jesus' promise is today. A skin inflammation covered my body. As I prayed, I remembered a passage from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by the Discoverer of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy. Her words rang a bell with me. She writes: ``Inflammation is fear, an excited state of mortals which is not normal'' (pp. 414-415). I took an honest look at my own mental condition and had to admit it was pretty hot and bothered! I had reacted quite strongly to some negative mail that had come across my desk the day before. I yearned to be free, and knew healing lay in entrenching myself in Truth. I found immediate comfort in realizing that Christ was there to help me. And Christly thoughts began to come, bring-ing healing with them. I remembered a passage from the Bible, from Habakkuk, that says of God, ``Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity'' (1:13).
I began to reason simply with myself from what I already understood of the total purity of God and His reflection, man. Is God irritated? I asked myself. No. Am I irritated? How can I be when I am the image and likeness of God, who cannot behold anything but good? I could agree that God never made a mind to irritate or be irritated, for He is all the Mind there is. The whole picture of being irritated, mentally or physically, was fake. I had been believing something that wasn't going on in God's universe-- something that couldn't be true! Improvement was rapid.
Before going to bed that night I continued my prayerful reasoning. In two days all inflammation and scaliness had gone.
Healing awakens us to recognize that the light of Christ, the radiant idea of Spirit, is already shining, and we begin to see the universe as God has made it. The rose, the sparrow, you and I-- everyone and everything is seen to be, in turn, wholly spiritual, wholly good.
This healing helped me see how we can prove, in modest degree, that God's promises are ever-present provable facts. Think, for example, of the promise of these words from Mrs. Eddy's book Miscellaneous Writings ``In Science, form and individuality are never lost, thoughts are outlined, individualized ideas, which dwell forever in the divine Mind as tangible, true substance, because eternally conscious'' (p. 103). Because God, good, is ever present, His manifestation--you and I--must exist right now as good and pure. To accept this is a step out of the dream of limitation into the dimension of Spirit, where all good is possible. Through Christ and Christian Science, we take hold of God's promises--those eternal, magnificent, spiritual, present promises--that meet so perfectly every human need.
Grace and peace be multiplied unto you
through the knowledge of God,
and of Jesus our Lord,
according as his divine power
hath given unto us all things
that pertain unto life and godliness,
through the knowledge of him
that hath called us
to glory and virtue:
whereby are given unto us
exceeding great and precious promises:
that by these ye might be partakers
of the divine nature,
having escaped the corruption
that is in the world through lust.
And beside this,
giving all diligence,
add to your faith virtue;
and to virtue knowledge;
and to knowledge temperance;
and to temperance patience;
and to patience godliness;
and to godliness brotherly kindness;
and to brotherly kindness charity.
For if these things be in you,
they make you that ye shall neither be
barren nor unfruitful
in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
II Peter 1:2-8