Wednesday, September 18, 2013

It isn't about getting to the pool

This week's Bible Lesson on matter includes the familiar story of the man waiting beside the Pool of Bethesda. He has suffered from some unnamed ailment for 38 years and is unable to get to the waters when they are stirred by an 'angel'. Others get there before he can. So someone has taken him to the pool but left him there unattended. Jesus singles him out from among the many hoping to be healed.

When Jesus speaks with him, asking if he wants to be healed, the man answers with all the reasons why he has not been so far. Jesus tells him to rise up, take up his bed, and walk. Immediately the man is made whole and he does just that.

Jesus did not tell him to go wash in the pool. He redirects the man's expectations from some healing that would come from the waters, as if they had the power to do that, and gives him instead a glimpse of the Christ, the activity of divine Love that brings healing. All healing comes from a change of thought. Jesus was showing that man that the healing resulted in choosing Spirit over matter. The answer was not to get to the water, but to look up to God. The following citation from II Corinthians begins....we look not at things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen'. Our reliance is not on the material, which may or may not be accessible to us, but on God who always is right at hand and ready to help and heal.

The waters had no power to heal. The healing came from the belief that they could. But that was an illusion. Such healings were based on faith in matter, not unlike taking a pill to 'heal' a headache. The headache goes away because of the individual's belief in it, one belief overtaking another. But it is not a permanent healing because it does not correct the cause. The headache can, and probably will, return. When one changes one's standpoint to a more spiritual view of God and man, the reliance is not on matter at all. The belief in material conditions yields.

What do we gain by turning to God for healing, abandoning material reliance? Mrs. Eddy says this 'confers upon man enlarged individuality, a wider sphere of thought and action, a more expansive love, a higher and more permanent peace'. Now that is worth considering.

Instead of putting yourself beside some inaccessible 'pool', waiting for an illusive solution, why not look up to the Christ, the ever-present solution. Find all in God, good. Part of Mrs. Eddy's Scientific Statement of Being reads, "All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation for God is All-in-all". No need to wait for help or healing. No need to rely on matter or some one else. God fills all space with His goodness. You are made in His image and likeness, perfect and whole, and live in that atmosphere. Turn from the illusion. It can't help you. See the reality and be free. Your answer is not in getting to the pool, it is in turning to God, divine Life, Truth and Love. That is where you should be looking. And you will find all you need.

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