As I listened to the evangelist on the radio, I heard many things close to my heart as a Christian Scientist. He spoke of God's great love and grace shown through His Son, Christ Jesus. He preached repentance and reformation in Christ -- both loved themes of the Gospel.
He also spoke of prayer to God that heals the sick -- something every Christian Scientist can attest to as integral to the witnessing of Christ. But then the evengelist said that it was not God's will that everyone who prays be healed.
How I wished to share with this Christian brother what Christian Science has taught me of God's ever-available healing power! For salvation from disease is as much as law of the Gospel as is salvation from sin.
To prove this fact we need to understand better the nature of God.
"Does Deity interpose in behalf of one worshipper, and not help another who offers the same measure of prayer?" n1 asks Mary Baker Eddy. That must have been a crucial question to this deeply Christian woman, because for much of her life she had been plagued by ill health. Why was it that her prayers, like the earnest prayers of many, often seemed to go unanswered? In her day, as now, the answer frequently given was that God allows, or even sends, disease -- either as punishment or as a test of one's faith.
n1 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,m p. 12;
But when she was healed of a severe back injury by an inspired insight into one of Jesus' healings, she glimpsed something of the true nature of God, and that glimpse impelled her to seek the divine Principle of Christian healing. Through Bible study, prayer, and divine revelation she discovered the Science of Christ. And then she was able to write: "In divine Science, where prayers are mental, allm may avail themselves of God as 'a very present help in trouble.' Love is impartial and universal in its adaptation and bestowals." n2
n2 ibid.,m pp. 12-13;
Mrs. Eddy found that prayer based on a scientific understanding of God ism answered. God is not like a capricious mortal who responds to one seeker and not another. God is Love itself -- Love that is also Principle, which ever varies in its love. As the Bible says, He is "the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." n3
n3 James 1:17;
This is why we can always turn to God and expect healing. It is never His will that we be sick or die, because He is perfect good, having no thought of evil. In reality all He knows of us thought of evil. In reality all He knows of us is our true, spiritual selfhood -- the selfhood Jesus came to awaken us to. As John says, "As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons og God." n4
n4 John 1:12;
But if God is infinite Love, then why aren't all who call on Him healed? First, it can be affirmed that the prayer of faith and spiritual understanding is alwaysm answered. We can be as sure of this as we can that understanding the laws of mathematics brings correct results when those laws are properly applied. Why? Because God is Principle, which never fails us when spiritually understood.
So when healing doesn't come or seems delayed, we need not blame God or condemn ourselves, but we can ask God for a deeper understanding of His nature. In some cases, sin may be obstructing our vision of God and of our true selfhood. Honest self-examination and repentance of the evil that is uncovered clear the way for deeper communion with the Father, bringing purification and healing.
Fear often obstructs healing. Here a deeper trust in God's love can free us from fear's grip, for "perfect love casteth out fear." n5 God never made or legitimized disease, and God's child cannot fear it or have it. We can hold to this truth until we feel its reality and are healed. Whatever the problem, we can always trust God to show us what we need to know of Him and of our true selfhood in Chirst, so that Love's healing grace is felt.
n5 I John 4:18;
No one need wait for the future to be saved from sin andm disease. As the Bible says, "Behold, now is the day of salvation." n6 When we turn to God with faith and understanding, He always answers.
n6 II Corinthians 6:2.
DAILY BIBLE VERSE The prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up. Jam es 5:15