RECENTLY WHILE STUDYING the 91st Psalm, with its promise of refuge from evil, I found myself stumbling over the phrase "neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling" (verse 10). Plague seemed such an archaic word, although certainly not to the translators of the King James Version of the Bible. To them it was probably synonymous with the Black Death of the Middle Ages. And, for 16th and 17th-century England, it was still present, threatening, and frightening. But how, I wondered, did that phrase apply to me today?

On reflection, I came to realize that plague is neither a distant nor an archaic word. We need to recognize and be alert to current postulations. Epidemiologists contend the world is awash in plagues: HIV-AIDS, West Nile Fever, SARS (respiratory infection), the current cholera epidemic in Southern Africa, as well as various visitations of influenza, which according to the Communicable Disease Center in Atlanta affects 5 to 20 percent of the American population each year, and leads to about 36,000 deaths a year.

Jolted by these statistics, I could see that protective prayer is a priority. And Christian Science teaches that when we're confronted with the fear of disease or epidemic, it's possible to address such medical prognostications and find immunity in a growing understanding of God, who is the all-knowing divine Mind. Mary Baker Eddy spoke of God as "our Father and our Mother, our Minister and the great Physician" (Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, p. 151). We also have the Psalmist's assurance that God heals all our diseases (see Ps. 103:3).

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Testimony of Healing
January 12, 2009

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