Ever since I was young, traveling on an airplane has represented a thrilling adventure. As a child, airports were my favorite place to be. But as an adult I’ve found that there have been times when feelings of fear and helplessness have emerged while traveling.
For instance, on a recent flight, a friend sitting next to me confessed that the rest of her family was at home with the flu and that now she felt she was coming down with the symptoms, too. As I listened to her fears, my first reaction was worry that I would catch the illness myself.
But I realized that rather than succumbing to fear, there was something more constructive and health-promoting that I could do while sitting there in my seat. It is an idea I read in a book written by Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of this news organization. It says: “... keep your minds so filled with Truth and Love, that sin, disease, and death cannot enter them. ... Good thoughts are an impervious armor; clad therewith you are completely shielded from the attacks of error of every sort” (“The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany,” p. 210).
If we feel threatened by illness or any other sort of “error,” or discord, in our lives, we can open our hearts and minds to the healing power of God, divine Truth and Love. This idea may sound simplistic or naive to some, but there is sound wisdom behind this constructive practice. Fear often leads our thought away from God, good, to speculation and worry. But the Bible explains that God, our creator, made everything and everyone very good (see Genesis 1:31). Our true, spiritual identity therefore includes peace and well-being.
God communicates directly to each of us purposeful, powerful, and wise thoughts that help us recognize this spiritual reality. These thoughts are an antidote to fear of illness, shedding light on what is right and true about us all. They protect, help, and heal. The Bible tells us, “I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11, New King James Version).
Sometimes amid the cacophony of fearful, anxious thoughts, we ignore the thoughts of peace, health, and harmony that God is constantly sending our way. Instead, we can grab those health-promoting thoughts and hold on to them.
As I sat there next to my friend, I felt a quiet impulse from divine Love that dispelled my fears. I felt certain that this loving mother of three wasn’t susceptible to illness as an outcome of having cared for her family. No law of God would allow for such a thing. Illness is not inevitable, because God, the all-good creator of all that’s good and true, did not create it. The children of the all-perfect, all-powerful God – which included all of us on that plane – are spiritual, held in divine perfection.
These thoughts from God washed over me like an invisible shield. I felt safe and certain of my health and of the health of those around me. The spiritual reality of our wholeness is everyone’s to discern and experience, wherever we may be.
While my friend and I don’t often talk about God, I felt inspired to share some of these ideas with her. I suggested that we head into the weekend expecting it to be joyful and free from illness.
When we arrived at our destination, the symptoms my friend had been feeling subsided by the end of the first day. And no one in our group experienced any signs of illness during the trip.
Whether we’re on a plane or somewhere else, if fear of illness enters our thoughts, we can do something about it. We can put on the protective armor of the many, many good thoughts God sends us – which are more powerful than fear – and experience more God-given peace.