RECENTLY I heard a news report about an outbreak of twenty-four hour flu. It warned that anyone experiencing certain symptoms would just have to endure a day of discomfort. The thought came to me that if that were true, God must be taking the day off. I laughed to myself at that thought because I knew so surely that there could never be a time period when God's absolute power to defend us from any evil was inactive.
Do we need to go to bed and wait out the recovery from illness, or can we call on God's power for healing? In the last line of a prayer that is called the Lord's Prayer, Christ Jesus acknowledged God's healing presence in saying, ''For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever'' (Matthew 6:13). Forever! There's no downtime indicated in that statement.
Jesus healed anytime, anywhere, when he encountered sickness. He depended entirely on God's healing power, which he proved was always available and instantly effective. Jesus stilled storms; he didn't wait for them to blow over. He raised the dead; he didn't even become concerned when one man had been in his grave for four days and the man's loved ones scorned Jesus for suggesting the time had not elapsed for all hope of recovery. The healings of Jesus were immediate-they occurred right where he was. There was never any twenty-four hour waiting period.
In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science, there is a spiritual interpretation of the Lord's Prayer. It explains the last line of the prayer, previously quoted, this way: ''For God is infinite, all-power, all Life, Truth, Love, over all, and All'' (p. 17). Infinitude and all-power leave no room for a lapse of any kind. We can all experience the benefit of understanding God's healing presence wherever and whenever we need it.
Truly realizing that God is All, you will heal sickness. You can be assured that you are maintained by God, who is divine Spirit, and your identity is a spiritual one. Because it is impossible for the purity of Spirit to be contaminated, it is impossible for you, who are Spirit's likeness, to be subject to something evil, such as illness. Man is God's perfect offspring. When anyone endeavors to express spiritual qualities, such as liveliness, truthfulness, and love, this is manifested in better health and well-being. Beyond healing any disease, God's healing power provides unfailing protection against its appearance.
Trust in God's power thus destroys the fear of illness often brought on by news of contagion. Fear tends to spread disease, while the understanding of God's care for man silences fear and brings actual power over sickness.
Praying the Lord's Prayer with humility establishes God's ''kingdom, and the power, and the glory'' in one's thought, and shows more clearly that purity and holiness are at hand.
At one time when our daughter was about ten, she became ill with the flu. I prayed for her. I understood that her life was completely controlled by God, and that there was no other power-no power that could harm her. After a short time, I went to check on her, and found her still feeling miserable and sorry for herself. Lovingly, I spoke with her of the many healings she'd had through prayer. She knew that prayer worked, and she knew I was praying for her. I encouraged her to start praying herself, and reminded her of what she knew: there was no power opposed to God. Complete healing came immediately, and this entire experience lasted no more than two hours.
God's power is ever present. It does heal instantly. There is no need for anyone to ''suffer through'' an illness for any period of time.
There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, . . .
God is in the midst of her;
she shall not be moved:
God shall help her,
and that right early.
Psalms 46:4, 5