The Bible offers many shining examples of enduring vitality and strength that call into question the supposed inevitability of aging, deterioration, or any lessening of our talents and abilities. Caleb, said to have “wholly followed the Lord,” declared at 85 that he was as vital and fit as he’d been 45 years earlier when Moses sent him to “espy out the land” of Canaan (see Joshua 14:6-11). Moses’ own demanding mission leading the children of Israel to the Promised Land – a journey that ended with them wandering through the wilderness for 40 years – didn’t begin until he was 80. And several women in the Bible gave birth when well beyond typical childbearing years.
Is it equally possible today to be free of effects commonly associated with aging?
It is, through the acknowledgment of the spiritual fitness, vitality, and vigor that are ours as God’s wholly spiritual image and likeness. This is a key concept of the demonstrable theology of Christian Science: Perfect God, divine and immortal Spirit, made man – all of us – in His image; therefore, man is entirely spiritual, not material or a mixture of matter and Spirit.
In reality, every child, woman, and man has an immortal, spiritual identity. This true individuality is ageless, timeless, and tireless. As God’s spiritual creation we are not governed by calendars or clocks, milestones or deadlines, but by the divine law of limitless, eternally unfolding good.
Each of us can begin now to rightly identify ourselves as God’s child – full of strength, wisdom, and vigor. Our innate spiritual intuition, which God imparts, helps us separate the spiritual facts of being, which bring out harmony and immortality, from fictional, material beliefs, which always produce discord. This can bring healing to any problem.
Several years ago I suffered a chronic, age-related pain in my shoulder. One morning, after reading the weekly Bible Lesson from the “Christian Science Quarterly,” the spiritual truths I studied seemed to cut through apathy and I realized that I didn’t need to suffer from this discomfort any longer. This was the effect of the Christ – “the true idea voicing good, the divine message from God to men speaking to the human consciousness” (Mary Baker Eddy, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 332).
A sense of God knowing me, loving me, and tenderly supporting me accompanied this demand for healing – this striving to better understand God and my present immortality as God’s image, or reflection.
The starting point of my prayer was rightly identifying spiritual existence as the present and only actuality of being, despite contrary testimony from the physical senses. I affirmed that God is divine Spirit and eternal Life, the sole cause and creator of the universe, which is entirely spiritual, not material. Spirit couldn’t and wouldn’t make anything capable of aging or decay or subject to erosion, loss, or failure. Spirit’s beautiful and pure spiritual ideas remain spring-morning fresh, tirelessly vital, forever immutable and new.
When thoughts such as “I’m getting older, so I ache” and “I’m in pain” come to us, we can immediately affirm the spiritual facts: “I am God’s immortal and ageless spiritual idea, so I cannot ache or be in pain” and “I am pain-free right now.”
Even before the healing was evident, I rejoiced to know my present immortality as a blessed and beloved child of God, including flexibility, resiliency, and graceful, effortless movement. Each time my shoulder ached, I would reject frustration, replacing it with a strong affirmation of my present and permanent health as God’s ever-fresh, ever-new, ever-vital spiritual reflection. This took persistence. But within a few days, the shoulder pain vanished, and it has not recurred. Joy and gratitude filled my heart when I realized I was free!
Then, early in 2020, pain in my hips made walking difficult. As I prayed along similar lines, full and pain-free movement was restored within days. Divine energy even put a spring in my step!
Age-related aches and pains – in fact, discomfort of any kind – can be healed through prayer in Christian Science. Discord is never part of our true being, and God’s tender love is perpetually available to answer our prayers for relief. The divine message of the healing Christ, Truth, rouses us from apathy and discouragement, encourages us to seek healing through a better understanding of God and our oneness with God, and frees us from suffering.
Now is the perfect time to understand, declare, and demonstrate man’s timeless, tireless being as God’s immortal idea.
Adapted from an article published in the Aug. 30, 2021, issue of the Christian Science Sentinel.