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G
rowing up, whenever I had a problem, my
mom would often tell me, "laughter is the
best medicine." And, that old adage would
sometimes make me feel better. But, what truly is
the "best" medicine for healing both body and soul?
Recently, at the 2017 Conference on
Medicine and Religion in Houston, Texas, leading
healthcare providers and representatives from
various religious groups addressed that very
question. In premiering his documentary, "Your
Health: A Sacred Matter," filmmaker Gerald Krell
focused on stories from patients and health care
providers who shared their views on why religion is
important to health.
While I find it encouraging to see some well-
known scholars in the medical community appear
to be embracing spirituality and its positive effects
on the body, it seems to me that they simply view
religion/spirituality as a way to cope with sickness
and not as a reliable form of healing physical ills.
However, at the turn of the twentieth
century, when medicine was certainly primitive, the
Discoverer of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy,
organized "a church designed to commemorate
the word and works of our Master, which should
reinstate primitive Christianity and its lost element
of healing."
She saw, through Christ Jesus' works
healing the sick, raising the dead, cleansing the
lepers - that "primitive Christianity" meant working
things out spiritually instead of materially, looking
to God as the source for healing. And in spite of
modern advances in medical technology, spiritual
healing is still relevant today, as one example I am
about to relate shows.
But, while Christian Science certainly helps
one cope with life's challenges, its mission is not to
simply provide temporary human assistance. Eddy
wrote, "From my very childhood I was impelled, by
a hunger and thirst after divine things,--a desire
for something higher and better than matter, and
apart from it,--to seek diligently for the knowledge
of God as the one great and ever-present relief from
human woe."
A friend of mine experienced the relief that
comes from turning to God for help. While in college,
she became quite ill. The physician who examined
and treated her told the family there was nothing
else that could be done and recommended they
pray for her. And, they did just that! Turning to the
Bible and the Christian Science textbook, Science
and Health with Key to the Scriptures, they found
the exact medicine my friend needed to be healed.
The family read how Jesus healed the blind,
the deaf, and the crippled. And they noted how
Eddy herself, in reading about those healings at a
critical time in her life, was healed of life-threatening
effects of an injury through prayer alone.
That same healing "medicine" of humble
effective prayer that was demonstrated by Christ
Jesus is still healing people over 2000 years later. It
healed my friend completely when material
medicine had nothing else to offer. Her family was
certainly overjoyed when she was able to return to
college.
If you are struggling in your search for the
best medicine to help you with your problems, I
am not suggesting you can laugh your challenges
away. But, there might just be something to
the Bible verse "A merry heart doeth good like a
medicine." Laughter can get your thought off of your
problems - and that is a good place to start. But
there's a big difference between understanding
spiritual truth and mere positive thinking. The truth
that Jesus said would make us free goes to the
heart of whatever issues we're dealing with, and
that brings real healing.
Helpful scriptures such as "Nothing shall be
able to separate us from the love of God;" "Cast your
cares on the Lord and he will sustain you;" (NIV) and
"The joy of the Lord is your strength" are indeed
healing medicine that you can turn to when you are
suffering. Try it!
Debra Chew writes
about the connection between
thought, spirituality and
wellness from a Christian
Science perspective. She has
been published in USA Today,
UK Health Triangle Magazine,
chattanoogan.com, Knoxville
News Sentinel, Memphis Commercial Appeal, and the
Jackson Sun & JS Health Magazine.
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