"Benefits to come"

A famous French writer of maxims declares, "Gratitude is a lively sense of benefits to come." To a novice in the study of Christian Science this statement brought an added realization that, once turned toward divine Love, one finds that gratitude need no longer be confined to experiences of the past or the present, but may and should be felt actively, confidently, and expectantly for lessons and demonstrations yet to come. A characteristic of mortal mind is its attempts to suggest that one cannot count certainly upon future blessings and in some cases to declare the sheer superstition that such anticipation may invite calamity. Such whisperings received for all time a practical and convincing rebuttal in the example of Christ Jesus. In raising Lazarus from the dead, as recorded in the eleventh chapter of John's gospel, we have what to human thinking uninstructed by Science must always seem an astonishing narrative.

Conscious of the full significance of his relationship with the Father, we behold Jesus undismayed even by the belief in bodily decay and hear him thus expressing gratitude: "Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always," and this even before the demonstration was apparent. In those present, accustomed no doubt to give thanks only for blessings after their appearance, what curious emotions must have arisen! Here was one who seemingly gave thanks without reason. Yet a moment later Lazarus was among them exactly as he had been before his passing. Again, in the eighth chapter according to Mark, experiencing again that "lively sense of benefits to come," we find the Master fully prepared to provide for the multitude. "He took the seven loaves, and gave thanks, and brake, and gave to his disciples to set before them." His unerring perception of the spirituality and abundance of supply entitled him to give thanks even before he could point to the natural result.

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Poem
By the Will of God
July 23, 1921
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