The flu has come to New England and the rest of the country, and a great effort is being made to care for the patients who have flooded doctor's offices and clinics. The efficacy of this year's vaccine has been questioned. But there is another care system that can lead to freedom from flu: prayer.
Gaining a more spiritual perspective on health gives us confidence in God's continuous care and protection. Through understanding the connection between our thinking and our health â€“ how our thoughts govern our bodies â€“ sick or fearful thoughts can be eradicated through God's loving power, and that heals.
How does this work? We can begin with God who created each of us. He made us in His image and likeness, which means that our true nature is spiritual and good (see Gen. 1:26, 27). As God's offspring, each of us reflects God's dominion, harmony, joy, love, peace, and freedom. Our health or harmony is established by God because it's part of being God's image and likeness.
Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science, wrote: "Health is not a condition of matter, but of Mind ..." ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," p. 120). Because we are God's children, we can listen to thoughts that come from God â€“ peaceful, loving, spiritual, light-filled, pure, humble thoughts â€“ and lead to health. And we can reject thoughts of fear, hatred, revenge, and willfulness that often lead to inharmony or disease. Fearful thoughts belong to the carnal mind, a mind opposed to God, which the Bible says is "enmity against God" (Rom. 8:7).
Jesus never viewed sickness as something that needed to be accepted or tolerated. His certainty of God's love for man â€“ including both men and women â€“ was so firm that he could heal even long-term illnesses instantly. Jesus taught that the kingdom of God is within each one of us and is peaceful and harmonious (see Luke 17:21).
One time Jesus was visiting Peter's home, and his mother-in-law was in bed with a fever. Jesus touched her hand, and the fever left her. Immediately she got up and fixed him dinner (see Matt. 8:14, 15, "The Message," by Eugene Peterson).
Mrs. Eddy said this about how Jesus healed: "The divine nature was best expressed in Christ Jesus, who threw upon mortals the truer reflection of God and lifted their lives higher than their poor thought-models would allow, â€“ thoughts which presented man as fallen, sick, sinning, and dying" (Science and Health, p. 259).
The same healing power is still effective today. For example, a woman began feeling cold and flu symptoms. She had plans to attend a concert with friends, but she wanted to stay home instead. As she prayed and listened to God, a spiritual intuition nudged her to go. She felt that God was helping her move forward. An idea from Science and Health came: "All disease is the result of education, and disease can carry its ill-effects no farther than mortal mind maps out the way" (p. 176).
She saw that this mortal, or carnal mind, was attempting to map her way â€“ telling her that she would be sick the next day and have to miss work, and that the following day she wouldn't be able to teach Sunday School. That's when she realized she didn't need to go along with that voice but could reaffirm in prayer that God is all power and He was causing her to be well.
As His spiritual idea, she was subject only to God's law of health and not to any material law of contagion. She persisted with this spiritual reasoning and began to feel more peaceful and joyful. That night she began to feel better, and by the next morning, all cold and flu symptoms were gone. And they didn't return.
God's love for each one of us is great, and He sends us the thoughts that lead out of darkness into the light of healing.