Plowing and Pruning

A WOMAN whose way had been beset by many human difficulties, in spite of earnest efforts to follow after righteousness, said in a despairing moment to a Christian Science friend: "Just when I think I am gaining a knowledge of Truth, something seems to happen to bowl me over. I feel as if I was being pruned to the limit, and sometimes when I see the farmers plowing their fields, I wonder if the same process is not taking place in me." Her friend answered, "Well, it may be that God purposes a crop."

On page 66 of Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Mary Baker Eddy, who probably was familiar with various methods of plowing and pruning, writes that "trials are proofs of God's care." This statement is often puzzling to beginners in the application of Christian Science teachings—very likely because they have a sense of love as something that is indulgent, glossing over mistakes and endeavoring to make things easy. This human sense of love is often unwise, because it is apt to make for weakness rather than strength. Not so is the love thus described by the writer of Hebrews: "Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth;" and again, "Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby." In fact, the entire twelfth chapter of Hebrews gives strong counsel as to the wisdom of surrender to the will and way of God, counting material sacrifices as naught.

October 15, 1932

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