When a Friend Is a Friend
Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life
My son's job involved servicing a chain of stores in the state of Texas, where there's quite a distance between the towns. That meant a lot of driving and sitting for long hours.
After several years of this, he began to have back trouble. He sought medical help, but his condition kept getting worse. He was hardly able to work. Then the doctors told him that his back could not be cured. He faced being an invalid.
Now, this was grim. But a friend came to his aid. He asked my son why he didn't try praying to God. This friend knew our family had depended on prayer for Jon when he was young, and he saw that something had to be done.
My son had his own family of four children depending on him. His wife was willing to help him try spiritual healing. And I went to his home to encourage him as well.
I brought him some books about the woman who discovered Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy. I knew he was not able to do any heavy reading, but they were easy to read.
Mrs. Eddy spent many years studying the Bible, in an effort to learn how to heal through prayer, as Christ Jesus had done. He was never discouraged by an incurable illness; he healed people no matter how hopeless their condition.
Jon studied specific references in the Bible and in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," the book Eddy wrote to explain how Jesus healed. One passage from the Bible was "Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases" (Ps. 103:1-3). Another, from Science and Health, was "Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need" (Pg. 494).
At the end of the week, Jon was feeling much better. A Christian Science practitioner was praying for him. She told him about Elijah, who was a prophet in Israel (see I Kings 18:21-39). The Bible tells how he challenged the people of Israel to choose between God the Almighty and the tribal god Baal. The people who believed in Baal called on him from morning till noon, but they received no answer. Then Elijah called on the Lord God, and God answered by sending down fire from heaven. The people saw this and chose to worship the true God. They said, "The Lord, he is the God."
The practitioner said, "We can have confidence in God like Elijah had." She read to us from the Bible this verse from the book of Nahum: "He [the Lord] will make an utter end: affliction shall not rise up the second time" (1:9). Nahum was also a prophet. The book he wrote is only a little over two pages, but the words of God that he recorded are vital.
Our confidence grew as Jon's back improved. At the end of the second week, he said, "I am healed." It has been quite a number of years since that time, and the disease has never recurred.
I have learned from my own experience that a disease healed through understanding the law of God never recurs. I have been studying Christian Science since 1930, and I've been healed of many diseases. I do not have the common colds or influenza that many people have every winter. It has been years since I have suffered from either of these.
The friend who encouraged my son to turn to God did him a real favor. I've learned that we all can depend on God as our best friend, who always guides us in a way that blesses and heals.
Greater love hath no man than
this, that a man lay down his life
for his friends. Ye are my friends,
if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants;
for the servant knoweth not what
his lord doeth: but I have called
you friends; for all things that I
have heard of my Father I
have made known unto you.