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Winter Relief

I GREW up in a hardy outdoor environment where there was much hard work to do in the winter. What we did had to be done daily -- no exceptions. We really didn't seem to have much time for allowing seasonal illness or injury to keep us from the work at hand. Later, when rearing my own children, however, I saw that just encouraging them to ``tough out'' symptoms and hurts ignores the promise of healing presented in the Bible. When the subject of Biblical healing comes up, we may tend to think just of the more dramatic incidents of physical healing the Bible records. Yet we don't find any qualifiers attached to healing in the Bible. In fact, the Psalmist says, ``Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:...who healeth all thy diseases.''1 I've often thought about what this word all implies here. The Bible teaches that God creates and governs man. But disease -- any disease -- directly contradicts God's care for man. So, just as the very thought of theft -- whether it's five dollars or five million dollars -- is wrong, even the smallest appearance of disease disputes something true about God, and His power is at hand to heal it.

How does this work for you and me when illness and hurt can seem so common? The commonly accepted view, of course, is that if man has a spiritual side, it is deeply buried and doesn't have much impact on our experience. But to reason scientifically about man, we can't really separate the nature of man from the nature of God, his creator. The Bible speaks of God as divine Spirit and of man as made in Spirit's -- God's -- likeness. The right way to think of man, if we go all the way to the heart of it, is as the spiritual offspring of God, with no biological counterpart.

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This spiritual concept is central to the teachings of Christian Science. The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, says, ``Man is not matter; he is not made up of brain, blood, bones, and other material elements.... He is the compound idea of God, including all right ideas....''2 This concept of man is a startling departure from the conventional view of life. But by living the truths found in the Bible in our daily lives, we can see for ourselves the truth that man is the spiritual offspring of God. And understanding this truth brings healing.

Here's an example to show what I mean. One day last winter, my daughter showed all the symptoms of flu. She was hot and restless.

I put aside my work and began praying for her right away. As I prayed I began to see that her Father-Mother God is always loving and cherishing her as His child. This love of God is able to protect her. I continued praying like this for fifteen or twenty minutes.

She had perked up by then and played happily for the rest of the morning. But that afternoon when I picked her up, it was apparent that she was still feverish. I turned again to God in prayer. I saw that God and His care weren't remote from her or me but were immediately available to bring healing. I renewed my prayer to understand more of the spiritual fact of God's care for His children. Soon she rested normally. By dinnertime she was completely well.

I'm learning to see that illnesses associated with winter can give us opportunities to see just how God's love for us works. Health is one of the gifts of God's love. It's a natural part of our coexistence with Him. And He heals all our diseases.

1Psalms 103:2, 3. 2Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,p. 475.

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