Vital Signs of God
Bringing a spiritual perspective to world events and daily life.
Vital signs are indicators of the efficient functioning of the human body. To the degree one accepts that we are completely physical in nature, looking at the body to monitor our well-being seems logical. But this physical perspective isn't the only possible view of life and health.
The Bible reveals a standpoint for determining our wellness, stemming from the statement that we are each created in God's image (see Genesis, chap. 1); that since God is Spirit, we are spiritual and not material. Because God is perfect, the well-being of His creation is invariable. Therefore your perfection as His child is invariable, too.
Almost two thousand years ago Christ Jesus showed that this view of life as spiritual (rather than material) is accurate, and that understanding it heals the diseased and disabled, reforms sinners, and overcomes death. Jesus' demonstrations of spiritual reality could be thought of as vital signs of a different sort. They evidenced a condition of absolute, unwavering health and happiness, contradicting the apparent fact that we are captive in bodies that are prone to varying material conditions.
Preoccupation with physical vital signs can make one very fearful, causing him or her to check anxiously for evidence of abnormal functioning. Yet it is far more health-giving to check up on, to acknowledge, God, the source of one's true identity and individuality.
Jesus knew God. And the book of Matthew in the Bible records that at one point Jesus spoke to those crowding around him, pointing out the contrast between their ability to perceive and understand material signs and their inability to perceive the deeper signs of spiritual being brought out in his messages and healing mission (see 16:3).
When Mary Baker Eddy discovered in the words of Jesus a healing power that can be demonstrated in any age, she named her finding Christian Science. Her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures explains the Science of Christ. Of that Bible account, the book says: "Knowing the Science of creation, in which all is Mind and its ideas, Jesus rebuked the material thought of his fellow-countrymen: 'Ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?' How much more should we seek to apprehend the spiritual ideas of God, than to dwell on the objects of sense!" (pp. 509-510).
When in need of physical healing, we can find it by seeking to know something of the spiritual facts of being. This is achieved through prayer. It involves gaining the true view, God's own view, of creation. It includes realizing that we ourselves, as well as our fellow men and women, are as perfect as the God who made us. To the degree this is done, we will begin to see indications of physical health and healing. The vital signs of God come to light as spiritual conviction and insight. And the practical fruition of this is physical well-being. Such fruition can include restoration of normality to bodily functions. But it also brings renewed financial solvency, restoration of rocky relationships, and indications of good in any other troubled human circumstance. Prayer secures health in a way that leaves no troubling evidence remaining.
The power of prayer has been effective throughout history. This is illustrated in a Bible account of one young boy who showed no vital signs at all. He had died by the time his mother tracked down the prophet Elisha, whose prayers had first brought her the ability to conceive and bear the child. Despite the fact that her son had died, when she found Elisha the mother answered his initial question "Is it well with the child?" with the response "It is well" (II Kings 4:26). And so it proved, as Elisha prayed to God and restored the life of the boy. The mother's ability to say "It is well" indicates a faith in God that exceeded a faith in physical appearances.
Like Christ Jesus, Elisha looked to God and to the good nature of God's creation for signs of life. Today we too can pray for a clear realization that God is All. We can expect to find tangible, practical evidence of this in the form of health and wellness.
You can find other articles discussing prayer in a weekly magazine, the Christian Science Sentinel.