It has come to light recently that several thousand United States troops may have been exposed to highly toxic substances while they were serving in 1991, following the Gulf War. Other news reports have quoted troops as saying that they've suffered various health problems (including what's referred to as Gulf War Syndrome) since their return home from the war.
Reading of this, I recalled how I was exposed to a highly toxic substance while working with cattle. This poison was in a very concentrated pesticide used to protect the animals from heel fly infestations. I spilled a gallon of this on myself while applying it to the cattle, and did not immediately change my clothing. The effects on my health showed up two weeks later in the form of internal bleeding. The prognosis of doctors assigned to my case was that the toxins had caused a form of leukemia. The doctors pronounced that this disease was incurable and that it would be better for me to go home and "die peacefully" rather than undergo further medical treatment.
This was my chance to return to the way of life that I had been introduced to as a young child; Christian Science had healed me of childhood diseases and aided me in many serious difficulties. Christian Science is the law of God, which Christ Jesus understood and by which he healed and saved others. In 1866 Mary Baker Eddy discovered Christian Science through study of the Bible, including the life and teaching of Jesus.
I did go home. But instead of accepting a death verdict, I contacted a Christian Science practitioner and asked for help in praying for healing. Practitioners devote their entire efforts to praying for others.
The practitioner I called suggested that I consider a statement in the textbook of Christian Science, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mrs. Eddy: "The starting-point of divine Science is that God, Spirit, is All-in-all, and that there is no other might nor Mind,-that God is Love, and therefore He is divine Principle" (p. 275). Since I had initially decided to consult doctors rather than rely on prayer for the healing of this poisoning, it was to me appropriate to locate the correct "starting- point."
My prayers and study of the Bible led me to these verses in Proverbs: "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths" (3:5, 6). That "trust in the Lord" was fundamental at the time, as I had been relying previously on drugs and blood transfusions. But all medical support had ceased when I took the advice of the doctors and went home. My reliance was then indeed solely on the practitioner's and my prayers to God.
Over the next two months, I became reacquainted with the power of God and His healing presence and regained my mental peace. I had to overcome any fear of the accident, as well as any sense of bitterness about my own ignorance or that of anyone else. I had to understand that God could never subject me to any debilitating condition. This was because of the spiritual fact I was coming to understand-that I am actually spiritual, made in God's "image and likeness" (see Genesis 1:26), and that in reflecting Him I express complete freedom.
With continuing prayer, in which I studied the truth of existence that is contained in the Bible and explained in Science and Health, my health improved. Within four months, I was able to return to the physically demanding job of cattle and grain farming. I have been well now for many years.
This healing gives me a certain sense of peace concerning the Gulf War veterans. I know that for all those who are facing Gulf War Syndrome, poisoning of any nature, or any unknown debilitating disease, my experience is proof that prayer can bring full healing. Through prayer we experience the formidable power of the kingdom of God.
Perfect harmony and health have always existed for all children of God. A study of Christian Science proves this to be true.
* The Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine, contains other articles discussing prayer.