WHENEVER I was fretting about some childhood problem my dad used to pull me up short by saying, "Be thankful you have your health. It did make me stop to think, but perhaps not as he intended. I was certainly grateful I had my health, but I began to worry that I would lose it.
Mortal existence is puzzling. Health seems dependent on diet, exercise, heredity, age, and even luck or chance. Can we find a more reliable basis of health? Yes--it's a spiritual basis. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, points out in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, "The Bible contains the recipe for all healing. In a world where mankind seems to look everywhere but to God for health, the Bible may appear to be an unlikely place to search--revolutionary even.
Yet we sometimes need a revolution to free us from oppression, and sickness is certainly oppressive.
My own introduction to Christian Science came as a result of reading the Bible. Several years of semi-invalidism had left me feeling bound by sickness. In my extremity, love of God turned me to the Bible. Twice, from cover to cover, I read the pages. Wanting to find a church that could explain the Bible more completely, I began studying Christian Science. I gradually gained a provable understanding of the Bible's recipe for healing, an understanding that freed me from that illness and from other troubles
as well. It also prepared me to be of more help to others in need.
Much of what I learned--and what I am still learning-- concerns Christ Jesus' method of healing. He illustrated the immediate effectiveness of looking to God for health when, for example, he healed the woman who "was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself. As recorded in Luke's Gospel, when she was loosed from her eighteen-year infirmity, she glorified God. We see from this that health is from God, unconditionally: it is not dependent on how long the illness has been going on; not dependent
on diet, exercise, medicine; not dependent on whether we have made any mistakes in our lives. Health is given by God to His children as a birthright. Jesus' understanding of this healed the sick. And this understanding is the basis for healing the sick--and for retaining our well-being--today.
For example, one day I severely turned my ankle on the way to work. Walking seemed impossible. To resist the mortal picture of pain and limitation, I prayed to accept right functioning as my unreserved heritage from God. Within minutes I was free of pain and continued on my way to work. I had glimpsed the spiritually reliable basis of health, and this glimpse had healed me.
In the Biblical case referred to earlier, Jesus explained why the woman had been sick for so many years. He told us that Satan had bound her. The satanic belief that sickness is a real power enslaving humanity remains prevalent today because mankind is largely unaware of the absolute freedom from disease promised by God and available through understanding the inspired Word of the Bible.
The Master's trust in God who is Love allowed him to see the perfect, spiritual man of Love's creating. Turning to divine Love, God, for health may not always be easy, but it is reliable. The universality of Love frees impartially, and Love's trustworthy power unveils our genuine status as sons of God. Being thus reconciled to our true status, we find the unconditional healing bestowed on God's children. We're able to prove in our daily lives that Love's absolute goodness liberates absolutely.