HAVE you ever stayed in bed after the alarm went off, going over all the reasons why you're in no shape to go to work? Most of us have. But Christian Science teaches that as long as we don't get in our own way by arguing for the trouble instead of using the spiritual power God gives us to confront and overcome it, we can be healed of whatever would keep us from doing the good and needful thing that is ours to do.
Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, writes, ``Contending for the evidence or indulging the demands of sin, disease, or death, we virtually contend against the control of Mind over body, and deny the power of Mind to heal.''1 And elsewhere she says, ``Tell the sick that they can meet disease fearlessly, if they only realize that divine Love gives them all power over every physical action and condition.''2
These two statements, which I had always loved, once lighted up a bleak morning for me and have glowed as clear spiritual directives ever since. I had awakened with a long list of reasons for not going to work. And even though it was very important for me to be in my officethat particular day, I just couldn't. I felt terrible.
But then I realized what I was doing: contending for the evidence and against the power of Mind, God, to heal. I remembered Jesus' healing of the crippled man who had been lying at the pool of Bethesda.3 It was believed that an angel occasionally stirred up the water and that whoever got into the pool first after each stirring would be healed of whatever was physically wrong with him. ``Wilt thou be made whole?'' the Master asked. But instead of being grateful for the implied offer of healing, the man made excuses why he couldn't get into the pool soon enough (contending for the evidence). Nevertheless, Jesus told him, ``Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.'' The man stopped arguing and was healed.
In my study of Christian Science I had learned that the real being of you and me and everyone is the spiritual image and likeness of God, because the Bible tells us that God made man in His image. So I reasoned this early morning that I could claim for myself the God-derived ability to destroy what appeared to be an immobilizing physical condition on the basis of my true status as His likeness. I could accept the fact that God, Love, was giving me all power over the trouble.
Yet the evidence still seemed overwhelming. Then I thought of Elisha's young servant, who also confronted some pretty overwhelming evidence one morning. When he woke up, the city was surrounded by chariots full of enemies. ``Alas, my master!'' he cried, terrified, ``how shall we do?'' Elisha, confident of the presence of God's goodness and of its power to prevail, reassured him, ``Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.''4
I suddenly saw that I didn't have to be afraid either. God was with me -- all His goodness and power. I would go to work. Not with do-or-die willful, human mind-over-matter grit, but with confidence in God's love for me. I was on His side, trusting Him and not contending for the evidence that seemed to be against me. So I got up, dressed, and drove to the city, praying all the way, declaring the truth of man's oneness with God. The result was that by the time I got to the parking garage I was healed. Not just better but joyously free, and ready to meet the day's demands.
What happened that morning was a glimpse of spiritual reality. You can glimpse it too. As we strive to obey the Christly command to rise and walk, we will come to discover the God-derived ability we need to heal whatever discord would inhibit our expression of God's nature.
So whose side are we on? God's side. And ``they that be with us'' -- the power and might of our loving Father -- are more than ``they that be with them,'' the often threatening but ultimately powerless claims of evil.
1Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 380. 2Ibid., p. 420. 3See John 5:2-9. 4II Kings 6:15, 16.
You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: The Lord is on my side; I will not fear...The Lord is my strength and song, and is become my salvation. Psalms 118:6,14