Seasonal illness – a ‘rumor’ about our true health
Today’s column explores how understanding sickness to be a false report about what we truly are as God’s spiritual and whole creation brings healing.
Rumors can seem pervasive. Defined by one dictionary as “a currently circulating story or report of uncertain or doubtful truth,” they are often spread unwittingly, like the game of “telephone,” in which a message becomes increasingly misheard and therefore incorrectly repeated as players pass it along. But when we are alert to the truth, this keeps us from believing and further reporting misinformation.
There’s another type of “hearsay” out there than who said what to whom. It pertains to our health and well-being. Through gaining in my spiritual understanding of God, I’ve learned that there’s more to us than our fleshly sense of ourselves, and that disease itself, seasonal or otherwise, is a “rumor,” a false report, about that deeper identity. Sickness sure seems real and powerful. But I have found that the Bible, and especially Christ Jesus’ healing works, point to the fact that our real identity and substance are spiritual – made in the likeness of God – and that wholeness and purity, not illness, is therefore the reality of our being.
For instance, in the Gospel of Luke, we read that Jesus went to the home of one of his disciples, Simon. There he found Simon’s mother-in-law sick with a fever, and he was asked to help her. So Jesus “stood over her, and rebuked the fever; and it left her: and immediately she arose” (see 4:38, 39).
It was pretty obvious to those present that this woman was very ill. But Jesus understood that everyone’s true nature is the creation of God, divine Spirit, and therefore whole and unblemished. Because this real identity is entirely spiritual, any material report is a false report about what we truly are. With God, good, as our creator, health is the spiritual fact of our being. This is the understanding that enabled Jesus to heal Simon’s mother-in-law and so many others.
Following Jesus’ example, we can have the courage today to affirm our God-given health and to stand up to false “rumors” about our well-being.
Recently I started to have flu symptoms. Keeping firmly in thought the spiritual fact that God, Spirit, is All, I immediately challenged those symptoms as a rumor – misinformation from an unreliable source – hence not an indisputable fact about my identity. I prayed to understand that God is good, is present, and is the only real cause and effect. Only what was coming from God, divine Love, could be true about me or anyone. This includes God’s infinite care for each of us, His children. And I knew we can experience this truth about ourselves in our daily lives.
Affirming these facts helped me reject mental tugs in the other direction. When I heard news reports or saw a commercial on TV discussing the predominance of the flu, I acknowledged that just as the fever of Simon’s mother-in-law had no foundation in spiritual reality, neither did the flu – for me or anyone. Only information coming from God, Spirit, is true, to be believed.
I am grateful to say those symptoms disappeared very quickly, and I was feeling 100 percent again.
In “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” Monitor founder Mary Baker Eddy points out the power of standing “porter at the door of thought,” and goes on to say, “Admitting only such conclusions as you wish realized in bodily results, you will control yourself harmoniously” (p. 392). We all have the ability to stand up to “hearsay” that suggests the inevitability of ill health, no matter what season it is. God, divine Love, keeps all Her children well, strong, and active, always. Therefore health and wholeness are the reality of what we are. Acknowledging the constant goodness and power of God, we can say each day, “I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God” (Psalms 42:11).