WHETHER we live above the equator, and are making our way through a snowy winter, or in the southern hemisphere, and are enjoying a balmy summer, we don't need to let illness spoil our days. This isn't just an idle hope; it's a promise that shines through the teachings of Christ Jesus.
Jesus was so conscious of man's unity with God and of God's great love for His children that healing was natural to him. For example, one time the mother-in-law of one of his followers was ill with a serious fever. Jesus' prayer restored her instantly; she got right up from bed and waited on them!
That this healing power--the Christ, or spiritual idea of God--is meant for us also is illustrated by the works of people who followed Jesus. This is especially true of the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy. She explains this point in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. Speaking of God as ever- present divine Love, she writes, ``It is not well to imagine that Jesus demonstrated the divine power to heal only for a select number or for a limited period of time , since to all mankind and in every hour, divine Love supplies all good."
Healing, then, stems from our consciousness of God, divine Love, and our willingness to accept that we are actually spiritual. Does being spiritual mean that we escape disease by becoming too insubstantial for microbes? Not at all. Instead, it's the microbes that become insubstantial! To be spiritual is to recognize that the real substance of our nature is qualities such as love, truth, intelligence, joy, purity. A microbe can't make joy or intelligence sick because these have no material elements. And t he man God created--your true nature and mine--is as spiritual as love, joy, purity. As we see ourselves more and more in terms of our spiritual nature, then, sickness becomes less and less relevant. In essence, we are learning that it is no part of us.
In conjunction with our growing knowledge of ourselves as spiritual, we learn more of God and begin to see why the Psalmist praised Him on so many occasions. One psalm speaks explicitly of man's relationship to God and how this leads to healing. It says, ``Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; who redeemeth thy life from destruction."
God, our loving Father-Mother, is with each of us at all times, and we can turn in prayer to Him whenever there is a need. For example, not long ago I seemed to be surrounded with people who had colds. And gradually, I found myself exhibiting the symptoms of sickness. At this point, I recognized that I had two options. One would be to allow the sickness to determine how I spent my days. The second choice was to recognize that I am spiritual, and that God, not sickness, governs me. Naturally, I chose the second option and prayed earnestly to know myself as truly spiritual and inseparable from divine Love. Within a very short time the symptoms were totally gone.
Over the years that I have studied Christian Science, I have been healed of many different sicknesses. And I have found that as my spiritual understanding grows, the time I am actually ill diminishes. This improved health comes entirely from a progressive recognition that God is all-powerful, that He is all-loving, and that His plan for His children includes joy and goodness, not sickness and trouble. Each of us faces different challenges to our days, but God's promise of love--and of healing--is there f or each of us, no matter which side of the equator we live on!