No Season for Sickness

CERTAIN months are said to be the prime ones for diseases such as colds and flu. This leads to an anticipation of illness that doesn't square with the concept of God as good and powerful.

The common view is that material conditions such as bad weather or exposure to a virus can make one sick. But this view contradicts the fact that God cares for man. God, a loving Father, never made man susceptible to harm. And we can turn our thoughts away from sickness and fear by praying. We can acknowledge the harmony that God is providing right now.

This harmony is deeper than just a set of positive human conditions. Because God is divine Spirit, the nature of His creation is spiritual. The nature of our being is evident in the spiritual qualities we can express-qualities such as unselfishness, love, integrity, and goodness. In prayer we can acknowledge God as the source of man's being. This opens our thoughts to a fuller awareness of our unity with Him. This unity is mental-the awareness of God's presence with us right now; the knowledge that He is completely caring for us; the assurance of our own spiritual nature. Such prayer must bring a more spiritual view of life. Considered from this standpoint, the theory of disease arising from seasonal conditions loses credibility.

If the symptoms of a disease appear, you can seek and find healing. The power of God, rather than matter, is the premise of this seeking. You can recognize that you are created by God. You can know that the condition of your being depends entirely on Him. You can remember that God is wholly good and infinitely loving; He never causes evil or allows suffering. You can see that your real being is spiritual. These are statements of spiritual fact taught in Christian Science.

As you pray, you gain spiritual understanding, which God gives. And this spiritual understanding heals. Just as morning light wakens us from sleep and dreaming, so does spiritual understanding awaken us to the harmony of God, including health. This light shows that any disease, even one that seems very real, actually has no more reality than a dream.

Jesus taught his followers not to be anxious about daily human conditions. He told them to seek first the kingdom of God, and assured them that their human needs would be cared for. The account of this teaching in Luke's Gospel is summarized in his words ''Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom'' (12:32). The many healings of Jesus, recorded in the Bible, show us that this kingdom of God is not a realm of suffering. These healings illustrate how human lives today can be blessed by the understanding of God that Jesus taught.

This was made clear to me when spiritual understanding healed me of a cold. When the symptoms first appeared, I prayed briefly. But I was not immediately healed. Later that day, the symptoms suddenly became quite severe. This made me pray more earnestly. I wanted to turn my thoughts more completely to God. As I sought to gain an awareness of God's presence, I remembered a sentence from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science in 1866. It refers to man as the expression of God: ''The sinless joy,-the perfect harmony and immortality of Life, possessing unlimited divine beauty and goodness without a single bodily pleasure or pain,-constitutes the only veritable, indestructible man, whose being is spiritual'' (p. 76). I pondered the meaning of these words. And I saw that I was really made of spiritual qualities such as harmony, joy, peace, and love. These qualities expressed the real substance of my being. I began to feel them and to try to express them. And all the symptoms of the cold completely faded away, within just a few minutes.

The understanding that God sustains our health and harmony becomes clearer to the one who acknowledges that God is Spirit, and that His children are spiritual. Inspiration gained through daily communion with God systematically destroys the fear of seasonal disease. It brings the assurance that we are always in God's care. And it heals.

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