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Spiritual joy is never really absent. But there are times when uncovering it can require some prayer and effort on our part.
Usually I spring up in the morning eager to tackle the day's events. But not that winter. My thinking was as dense as the early morning darkness. Despair hovered like a black cloud invading the horizon each day as I woke. Yet I could discern no reason for the lack of joy.
My custom is to begin the day by reading and studying the Lesson-Sermon given in the Christian Science Quarterly. The subjects of the Bible Lessons at that time dealt specifically with God and His attributes. One citation from Science and Health in the lesson on the subject "God" stood out to me. It includes the explanation "God is one God, infinite and perfect, and cannot become finite and imperfect." Science and Health, p. 587. And, though it wasn't included in that week's lesson, I also thought of the Bible reference that assures us of the fact that man is made in God's image and likeness. See Gen. 1:26, 27. Reasoning from these statements, which show the perfection of God and man, I saw that because a feeling of depression was an imperfection, it could not be imposed on me. This insight and my quiet morning Bible study provided a small measure of comfort, but it did not seem to last.
At this point I recalled that throughout her life, but especially in writing Science and Health, Mrs. Eddy consistently searched the Scriptures for inspiration and followed Christ Jesus' example. Perhaps this path of deep Bible study would lead me out of the gloom that I was experiencing. As I studied and prayed, I found two verses standing side by side in the New Testament—a total of only five words: "Rejoice evermore" and "Pray without ceasing." I Thess. 5:16, 17. At first, although I pondered the implications of these few simple words each morning, I still saw nothing in which I could rejoice. Is it possible, I wondered, to be truly joyous constantly? Could I actually pray unceasingly?
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