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Sickness isn't inevitable

From the November 4, 1991 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

The Christian Science Monitor


When flu strikes, most people feel that there isn't much to be done except to stay in bed and ride out the barrage of symptoms. People spend vast sums each year trying to reduce the discomfort, but medicine offers no cure for this periodic scourge.

The fact is, we aren't helpless victims of disease. Ordinary people, just like you and me, have proved that a person can not only be healed of flu symptoms, he can attain an ongoing immunity from this pestilence.

The good news is that each of us can call on powerful spiritual resources to defeat flu symptoms and to keep ourselves free from infectious disease. When I say "spiritual resources" I'm not talking about the power of the human mind on the body and immune system. What I'm talking about is the truly divine healing resources we discover through gaining a better understanding of God and our relationship to Him.

Let me give a practical example. A number of years ago, the news media warned that a virulent strain of flu had broken out in my area and that many people were falling ill. School attendance in some places was down as much as 50 percent, and some health authorities were urging massive vaccinations. Over half of the people where I worked were out sick.

I was fairly new in my practice of Christian Science, and quite frankly, I'd had mixed success warding off flu in the past. But I'd had some very quick healings, which encouraged me to turn to the Scriptures for comfort and spiritual insight into how to pray about this contagion.

A favorite psalm from the Bible came to mind. It gives this promise to those who trust in God: "Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler."

The truth that became my "shield and buckler" was twofold. First, the wonderful Biblical truth that man is the image and likeness of God. Christian Science throws new light on this familiar idea. Far from making God manlike, this truth makes man Godlike.

The image of an all-good God, who is Spirit itself, must be absolutely like its creator—in other words, not even partly physical but wholly spiritual. This incorporeal, Godlike man is the spiritual reality that shone through the life and person of Jesus in such measure that mankind caught some glimpse of what it means to be the Son of God.

Now, this spiritual being, although unseen by our physical senses, is the real selfhood of you and me, too. This was Jesus' wonderful gospel: that God is our Father and that in the light of Christ we discover we too are the children of God—pure, sinless, made in God's image.

The second shielding truth was that God, being all good, does not give power, or even reality, to disease. All that an all-good God can create is good and wholly spiritual. Thus there can be no power or reality in something called flu—or any other disease, for that matter. This may seem like a startling assertion, but wasn't this exactly what Christ Jesus was proving by his healings—that sickness and disease are illegitimate; they are no part of the kingdom of God that he was ushering into human consciousness?

As I pondered and prayed with these truths, I felt a tremendous peace. I knew I was safe with God. Imagine my surprise then, when all the symptoms of flu hit me like an express train! At first, I was tempted to be discouraged, but instead I clung to my "shield"—the fact that my real, God-created being was spiritual and therefore could not be invaded by evil in any form. Influenza could be no part of the kingdom of God, in which man lives, because God, not matter, is man's Life and source of being.

This spiritual understanding gives power to our prayers, as Mrs. Eddy explains in Miscellaneous Writings: "For man to know Life as it is, namely God, the eternal good, gives him not merely a sense of existence, but an accompanying consciousness of spiritual power that subordinates matter and destroys sin, disease, and death."

Within minutes the symptoms disappeared, and I was completely well. What's more, I never again suffered from influenza and have been totally free of it the last twenty years, despite repeated exposure to it. This immunity is not bodily, or "mind over matter," but spiritual. It comes from realizing man really does live in God.

Best of all, anyone can immediately put these truths to work in his or her own life and prayers. You don't have to put up with flu, or any other disease. The truth that Jesus said would set us free is a scientific reality that any honest heart can begin to understand and practice.

A religious article, treating a contemporary topic and showing how spiritual insight can help and heal, is published in each edition of The Christian Science Monitor. From time to time we reprint Monitor religious articles of special interest to Sentinel readers.

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