Even before the leaves changed to their autumn colors (at least around my home in Virginia), I noticed advertisements telling us that the "cold season" was upon us.
While these ads for various medications promise relief, they all assume that having colds is an inevitable part of winter, and that the best we can do is just alleviate the symptoms.
I used to suffer from colds all through the winter, and sometimes in the summer, too. As I studied the Bible more and noticed the chain of healings recorded there – a chain of healings not just confined to Jesus and his followers, but extending back to Elijah and the prophets – I realized that I, too, could depend on God for my physical well-being.
Depending on God for one's well-being, rather than trusting in drugs and other such remedies, brings about a profound change of thought.
In my case, I came to see that there is a spiritual reality that is grounded on the perfection of God and of man's perfect relationship to Him as His idea. Our true identity has to be spiritual, and I believe that as we wake to this truth little by little, we find our lives improving. I've certainly become healthier and happier as I have done this.
The approach to this spiritual reality is through silent communion with God. The Bible gives us this promise: "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases" (Ps. 103:2, 3). Now either this is true or it isn't. Making it happen is up to us, through our "tuning in" to God in prayer.
One morning I woke up with all the symptoms of a cold. My first thought was "Maybe I was in a draft," as I looked up at the ceiling fan that had been running all night. Then, right after that, I realized I needed to turn to God in prayer.
I wanted to understand better that God, divine Mind, was maintaining me, and that God would never let me become sick. I wanted to understand better that I couldn't be harmed by draft or contagion.
Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of this newspaper, wrote in her book "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," "You would never think that flannel was better for warding off pulmonary disease than the controlling Mind, if you understood the Science of being" (p. 63).
I knew I needed to understand this divine Mind and my relation to it. So I prayed, affirming that God was all good, the only power in the universe, and I was His creation. I saw that an all-powerful God would not let me down.
The fear of having to suffer through a miserable day left me, and I got up. I was in the shower a few minutes later when I realized that all the symptoms had completely disappeared. I was fine, and remained that way.
As the seasons change, I can enjoy all the good – watching my daughter play field hockey, walking through fallen leaves in the woods with my dog, traveling to my son's soccer games when I can – without fear of colds. It's a beautiful time of year.
Oh that men
would praise the Lord for his goodness,
and for his wonderful works
to the children of men!
He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them
from their destructions.
Psalms 107:15, 20