Overcoming the dread of disease
HAVE you read about the man who began to study a book on diseases? He came to the conclusion that he had all but one of them in varying degrees of severity. This is how Jerome K. Jerome in his book Three Men in a Boat humorously describes a fairly common human tendency--to fear that one has, or will sometime have, an ailment the symptoms of which one hears or reads about.
I suffered from this fear for years. At times it made my life quite miserable. Then something happened that little by little freed me from this dread of disease. I began to read a book called Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. It was written by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. From this book I gained the sense that God knows me, cares for me, and is always looking after me. I already knew from the Bible that He is all-powerful. The book said, just as the Bible does, that God is Spirit, and that God is All and created all.
Through reading the clear explanations, I began to see that God's creation is actually spiritual, transcending what the physical senses report, and that it is eternally maintained in a perfect condition by Him. I saw, too, that as the image of Spirit, my true selfhood wasn't made of matter but of the substance of Spirit. So in a very profound sense I didn't need to keep worrying about parts of my body going wrong. Well, this wouldn't have been much use if it hadn't been provable.
Before long something did seem to be wrong inside my body. I didn't know how the illness would be labeled medically, but it was obvious something was not right. This would have terrified me without my new understanding of Christian Science. As it was, however, I was not alarmed but put the truths of this Science into practice as well as I could. I asserted in prayer that God was caring for my entire being and that He was all-powerful, so I didn't need to fear. I could safely leave every aspect of my well-being to Him. The symptoms continued for about two days, but I stuck to my convictions, knowing that nothing harmful had any power over me, because only God, good, has power. Soon the difficulty left and never returned.
Since that time I have relied solely on Christian Science for healing and have not been let down. I have recently completed twenty-six years of schoolteaching without once being absent for sickness. I have had healings of colds, flu, burns, and skin troubles. And I have peace of mind regarding health; I know that God's spiritual offspring, man, is kept perfect by Him and is not a defenseless prey for sickness. Mrs. Eddy says: ``Let us rejoice that we are subject to the divine `powers that be.' '' 1
If the thought of sickness, or the prediction of it, comes through advertisements or information given on radio or television, or through conversation, we can be unafraid. Illnesses are not made by God, and so have no ultimate, or even present, reality. They may seem very threatening, very substantial. But from a spiritual standpoint they're not made at all. In Genesis we read, ``God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.'' 2 And the Gospel of John says, ``All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.'' 3
If faced with sickness, we can overcome it by clinging steadfastly, understandingly, to such statements from the Bible and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health. The latter tells us, ``God is the creator of man, and, the divine Principle of man remaining perfect, the divine idea or reflection, man, remains perfect.'' 4
It may sometimes require diligent and persistent prayer to realize this truth without deviating or doubting, but it is well worth the effort. The result is spiritual regeneration, health, peace, and a degree of progress along more spiritual lines for all mankind.
1 Science and Health, p. 249. 2 Genesis 1:31. 3 John 1:3. 4 Science and Health, p. 470. DAILY BIBLE VERSE I am the Lord that healeth thee. Exodus 15:26