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Seeking a spiritual path to health

From the Christian Science Sentinel - May 28, 2020

 About ten years ago, not a single month passed without my being treated for pneumonia in hospital. Since I was sickly, I was often taking prescribed drugs and visiting the local pharmacy. 

But I was not comfortable depending on drugs for my health. I wanted to be free of them. I asked the pastor of the church I was attending with my parents to heal me. He recommended prayer and fasting for three days, and further, going to hospital again for treatment. I did not go, and after praying and fasting for three days, my eyes flooded with tears because my health was no better. I said, “God, can’t You heal me?”

Shortly after, a neighbor who knew of my desire for spiritual healing introduced me to a group of Christian Scientists, in the hope I would find the answers that I was seeking. The group used to meet in her parlor when visiting the village in which we lived in Nigeria. Their discussions were informal and shed light on the teachings of Christian Science and how its practice brings healing. At my first meeting I was given a copy of the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. I quickly loved the teachings in the book and the explanations given of God as Spirit and man as spiritual. 

A neighbor introduced me to a group of Christian Scientists in the hope I would find the answers that I was seeking.

Soon, I began traveling to another village about 100 kilometers’ distance (approximately 62 miles) to attend regular Sunday services and Wednesday testimony meetings held by this same group of Christian Scientists. During this period, I sometimes also attended my own church.

One day I took ill again and was placed on admission in hospital by my elder sister, who was very concerned for my health. But again I was uncomfortable with the thought of medical treatment, as it hadn’t cured me before, so I left the hospital for home. My sister insisted that I should go back to the hospital, but I refused. I told her that in reading Science and Health it had become clear to me that I could be healed without medicine. 

Since becoming a student of Christian Science, I have learned that this denomination respects the fact that every individual has the fundamental human right to decide for himself how to best care for their health. Christian Scientists have no quarrel with, or criticism of, those who rely partly or wholly on medicine or other material means for healing, but the healing practice of Christian Science does not involve the use of such means. In striving to follow Christ Jesus’ example, I’ve learned that the healing of sin and every kind of illness, physical and mental, is best accomplished through reliance on God alone; through the acceptance of God’s Word as it appears in the first chapter of Genesis, where it says, “God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them” (verse 27).

As I continued to study the Bible and Science and Health, I gained a clear understanding of the distinction pointed out in the teachings of Christian Science between two accounts of creation recorded in Genesis. Gradually, I realized the absolute truth of the spiritual account in Genesis 1 and the first verses of Genesis 2, stating that God’s work is “very good” and complete, and the falsity of the material account in the remainder of this second chapter and the following chapters. 

I was completely healed of the chronic pneumonia. I now understand something I didn’t think I could ever grasp: Physical healing is possible solely through spiritual means.

At the same time, a passage from Science and Health that I love so much really helped me. It states: “Eternal Truth is changing the universe. As mortals drop off their mental swaddling-clothes, thought expands into expression” (p. 255). I held on to this idea that it was eternal Truth, God, that was changing my thought, so that I would understand more clearly the nature of God and my relation to God, that I am made in His image and likeness. 

When I finally saw that this is true about me, I saw that pneumonia had no reality nor any power over me. I then thought only about this fact of my spiritual nature, and as I held to this truth in my prayers, the healing came to me as a light outshining the darkness. I had been awakened by Christ, which brings to mankind the true idea of God. The old belief about creation—that man is a vulnerable mortal, created from the dust—left me. I was completely healed of the chronic pneumonia. 

I was overcome with joy at this healing and knew Christian Science was the right path for me. I became a member of the Christian Science Society in Owerri, and of The Mother Church in Boston, US. I have since had the privilege of taking a course in Primary class instruction in Christian Science, in which I gained a better understanding of the practical nature of Christ Jesus’ teachings and how to heal as he did. 

It says in Science and Health, “Truth makes a new creature, in whom old things pass away and ‘all things are become new’ ” (p. 201). Christian Science brought me out of misery into health and happiness, and through its teachings I now understand something I didn’t think I could ever grasp: Physical healing is possible solely through spiritual means. 

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