MY wife had been doing some heavy lifting at work when she seriously injured her back. She was brought home in acute pain, barely able to move. But we had seen too much evidence of God's power in our lives to accept her distress as unchangeable. Because God, Spirit, creates man in His likeness--wholly spiritual--we knew that physical discord is not reality, though it appears to be. In fact, since God never made it, it can't be part of us at all. We immediately turned to God in prayer.
Health is not actually the effect of bodily conditions; it is a manifestation of what we think governs us. Improved thinking -- God-governed thinking--leads to improved health. Thoughts that come from God tell us of our right to be whole and free. As we learn more of the perfection of God, and that He creates man in His perfect likeness, this opens the way for healing.
What we expect to happen, however, sometimes seems to determine what we do experience. If we pray for healing, for example, but doubt our prayer's effectiveness, we'll be slower to see that healing is possible. When prayer is supported by conviction, though, we're accepting God's power and willingness to heal. Christ Jesus said, ``What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them'' (Mark 11:24). Believe, in this case, is more than blind faith; it includes a growing spiritual understanding of why our needs can be met.
As my wife and I continued to pray, our certainty that the back problem could be overcome gained strength as we understood manour-- spiritual nature more clearly. Ease of movement is determined by God, not by muscles and bones. It was right and reasonable for us to expect my wife to walk free of pain once again as a result of our prayers.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: ``As a man thinketh, so is he. Mind is all that feels, acts, or impedes action. Ignorant of this, or shrinking from its implied responsibility, the healing effort is made on the wrong side, and thus the conscious control over the body is lost'' (p. 166). Dominion over the body comes from God, divine Mind, and is manifested in the command we have over our thoughts. To believe we are incapacitated is to believe bodily parts have more authority over us than God. But this is never true!
Man--our genuine identity--is spiritual and perfect right now. Understanding this gives us confidence to reject the suggestion that we are injured or disabled. Christ Jesus showed repeatedly that handicaps can be overcome. And his resurrection was the ultimate proof that God, divine Life, fully preserves and protects His creation, man. We take conscious control of our experience by letting Truth, God, determine what we accept as true about ourselves. To see ourselves as God's perfect man is to let Truth govern us. The more assured we are that God is in control of our life, the freer we are of the disabling belief that we live at the mercy of matter. Once fear is gone, healing takes place.
My wife and I expected to see results from our newfound understanding of her spiritual exemption from danger and harm. She didn't have to suffer--in fact couldnbecause of the heavy lifting. God is the only lawmaker, and His laws produce harmony, not discord. Health and strength are fixed facts. Weakness and pain are not part of His creation, which is the only reality.
After a day of steadfast prayer, my wife was back to her healthy self, free and refreshed. Our refusal to give in to that original picture of despair enabled us to triumph over the problem. And, more important, we both understood a little more fully what it means to be God's perfect children.