Rejoice , praise God, be glad! is the tenor of the Word, the clear message which the spiritually alert, those whose garments are being washed pure through suffering and understanding, catch in its powerful import. Many a Christian Science practitioner has witnessed the startled look in the tearful countenance of the weary and heavy-laden ones who have sought refuge from the pains and pleasures of sense and fain would be made whole in Christian Science, when told that they must rejoice.

To be told to rejoice when one's whole heart seems breaking, may seem, as it falls upon the ear of the sufferer, to be absurd—yea, even mockery. How can one rejoice when the whole world seems pressing in on every side, and there seems to the frightened, suffering sense but a faint hope that a ray of light will ever be seen again? As human reason arrays itself against the spiritual demand, "Rejoice, and be exceeding glad," the ready argument of mortal mind presents itself: Surely one can "rejoice, and be exceeding glad" if and after one is healed.

The practitioner, however, who has himself earnestly traveled the narrow path and obediently rejoiced, firmly yet lovingly meets the patient's involuntary argument or protest, and still encourages him to rejoice. And the patient goes his way, pondering perhaps, even though he may for the moment appear to be bewildered. But if honest, if willing to be healed of whatever may be holding him in bondage to sin, disease, or distress, he is obedient. At first the God-praise may come falteringly in a mere whisper, as the struggling heart reaches out into the hitherto unfamiliar realm of Spirit for light. Then, with pride humbled and heart chastened, he cries: Father, God, teach me how to rejoice: make me grateful; heal me!

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"Count not time by years"
December 29, 1923

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