When I wasn’t healed right away

One summer, I noticed that one of my fingers was really red and itchy. After a few days, the irritation spread to the rest of my fingers. I am a student of Christian Science, so it was natural for me to pray about what was going on. From studying the Bible, I knew that God made me in His image and likeness. Since God causes only good, there’s no way for me to express anything less than perfection. That includes a healthy body. I continued to pray for a while until the irritation stopped, and I was grateful for this healing. 

But when the next summer rolled around, the irritation came back. As it persisted, I felt more and more discouraged and, frankly, very disappointed. I thought I’d prayed earnestly, but the situation had not improved. I wondered if maybe the warm weather was causing this reaction. I tried to address this in my prayers, but I couldn’t shake the fear that this was something I was going to have to deal with every summer. 

One night I woke up because the discomfort was the worst it had ever been. I was exhausted—and afraid of how long I might have to struggle with this issue. I knew something needed to change. I wholeheartedly reached out to God. Various ideas I’d prayed with before came to mind along with some new ideas. Ideas like “I’m not a material body that is subject to pain and discomfort, because God, who is Spirit, created me as wholly spiritual.” No matter what my body was doing, I knew what was true: I reflect God’s perfection, so I can expect my body to reflect this truth. I soon felt some relief and was able to go back to bed and sleep soundly. The next day, there was a lot less irritation. It was a few more weeks before the problem was completely healed, but once it was gone, it never came back. It’s been several years since this healing.

Every prayer, every inspired and good thought, was valuable.

I know it may seem like that one night did the trick. And it was definitely a turning point. But I truly felt that every prayer prior to that had been a step toward healing. Each declaration of truth, every hymn I turned to, every inspired and good thought, was valuable. Every step had given me the tools and understanding for the next step. 

If you’ve been praying about something for a long time, and improvement isn’t apparent right away, don’t be discouraged. Gaining a clearer view of yourself as God’s beloved child, one step at a time, ensures your growth. 

In my case, the physical picture hadn’t been encouraging at all. But without realizing it, I had been becoming more confident and more prepared to take a firmer stand against the claim that my body could become irritated and inflamed. I was on the path to healing, even though I couldn’t see it at the time.

Over the years, I’ve come to appreciate this encouraging statement by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science: “The more difficult seems the material condition to be overcome by Spirit, the stronger should be our faith and the purer our love” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 410). I’ve found that when we’re faced with this “more difficult” situation, our faith has actually already grown stronger and our love purer. And since the condition is really being overcome by Spirit, as this passage points out, whatever we’re dealing with is completely within our ability to handle as Spirit’s reflection.

It may seem like everything is trying to convince us that prayer isn’t effective or takes too long or that we aren’t good enough. But God really does equip us with everything we need to meet every obstacle with confidence. I appreciate how this verse from the Bible illustrates this idea: “God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work” (II Corinthians 9:8). We can trust that—and expect healing.

AARON CRANFORD — STAFF
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