"I will trust, and not be afraid"

A student of Christian Science was walking the floor of her office absorbed in deep and troubled thought. She was admittedly worrying. Much of her thinking was a futile effort to solve oppressive problems by considering human ways and means of meeting them: selecting and rejecting first this and then that fragment of a plan, much as one might vainly try again and again to piece together a picture puzzle, certain essential parts of which were not to be found. The student realized that this kind of thinking was not scientific or helpful, and her knowledge of this fact was in itself oppressive, for it laid a weight on her conscience. Yet the temptation to pore over the various suggestions of mortal mind, in a situation that seemed imperative, argued strongly. Suddenly, without any conscious volition of her own, clear as the spoken word came this formulated sentence to her thought: Worry is habitual distrust in God.

This quiet mental comment startled her into a sense of what she was actually doing. It arrested her confused thinking as quickly as an officer's raised hand arrests turbulent traffic and brings order out of chaos. She repeated the words aloud in shocked rebuke to herself: Worry is habitual distrust in God! Then she thought: How can a Christian be habitually distrustful of that which he professes? Can God be trusted and distrusted at one and the same moment? Certainly not. Which am I doing? Then and there the resolve was taken to stop worrying—stop distrusting God.

According to a dictionary, "worry" as a transitive verb means "to harass by pursuit: to tear with the teeth: to harass with importunity, or with care and anxiety." As an intransitive verb it would mean the state of being subject to such treatment. Now who or what, in all God's universe of light and harmony, could either inflict or suffer such discord? Clearly, God has not introduced into His creation any element unlike Himself. The admonitions of divine Love have no such effect, for their tendency is ever restful and healing. Love leads; it does not drive, pursue, and punish its own beloved children. Nor does God devise for His children endless inexplicable problems and puzzles, in wrestling with which they have very little time to think of Him.

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The Perfect Man
August 17, 1935

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