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Do you need a stronger faith?

BEFORE I started studying Christian Science, I accepted the possibility of Christian healing for some people -- namely, those who had sufficient faith in God's power to heal. I enjoyed reading articles in nondenominational Christian magazines that told of people who had been healed through great faith in God. But whenever I attempted to turn to God for healing, the symptoms of illness and the medical predictions loomed very large in my thinking, whereas my faith in God seemed a great deal smaller than the mustard seed of Christ Jesus' parable: ``If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.''1 I was discouraged by what I saw as my inability to arrive at a genuine trust in God's power to heal.

Later I realized that my search for a clearer idea of divine power was not unlike that of many people who are interested in spiritual healing. Frequently these people are looking for something more than physical healing. They are seeking the verification of a deeper, spiritual dimension to life that Christian healing offers. Isn't that the point of Christian healing anyway? Many individuals would dearly love to experience a more real and provable sense of God's love and care for His children.

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Students of Christian Science find that it is indeed possible to gain the understanding of God's presence and love that results in healing. After I began studying Christian Science, I realized (very slowly at first) that my faith in God's power to heal was increasing because I was gaining a greater comprehension of the divine nature. I discovered that as we begin to take seriously the omnipotence of God -- of divine Love, of ever-present Spirit and Truth -- we gradually gain a different view of the conditions that we feared would oppose spiritual healing. We see that they don't have the authority they seemed to have, and fear of them no longer dominates our thinking.

We become increasingly receptive to the spiritual, perfect nature of Love's creation, including our own and everyone's individual identity. We begin to recognize a spiritual basis for the good in our lives. Actions that express kindness, integrity, or excellence all point to the true, Godlike nature of man and assure us that spirituality is not an abstraction.

The gradual awakening to our actual, spiritual being results in improvement in our lives. A ``grain'' of such enlightenment enables us, through prayer, to find healing of illness and of other troubles. All, in a sense, are products of the conviction that we live subject to conditionsbeyond our control, apart from God, apart from our only true Principle and source.

The realization of the substantiality of Spirit and of the wholeness of our identity as Spirit's likeness undermines the foundation of our faith in matter and strengthens our conviction of God's healing power.

This was illustrated to me during a healing of our young son a couple of years ago. After he had gone to bed one evening with a severe cold, I prayed. Yet the symptoms and their causes still seemed very formidable. As I continued to listen in prayer for God's guidance, recognizing His ever-present intelligence and love, I became certain that an answer would come. I pondered this statement by Mary Baker Eddy:2 ``When we realize that Life is Spirit, never in nor of matter, this understanding will expand into self-completeness, finding all in God, good, and needing no other consciousness.''3 Finally it dawned on me that because God is complete, perfect Spirit, who doesn't create or require discord, no discord could ever belong to this child as His spiritual image and likeness. I felt completely free of fear or anxiety. In the morning our son was well -- not even a vestige of the illness remained.

Faith grows stronger when it is based on a progressive understanding of God as the wholly good divine Principle of all true existence. A realization that the health and happiness that derive from God have no natural connection with evil and no need of interaction with evil strengthens faith in the power of good, God, to overcome sin and disease in ourselves and others.

1Matthew 17:20. 2The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. 3Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 264. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: Is any thing too hard for the Lord? Genesis 18:14

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