Looking through the right end of the telescope

A different perspective on a persistent problem can open the way to healing.

From time to time, we may find that a problem persists in spite of our best efforts at prayer and listening for God's direction. Perhaps a difficult relationship isn't getting smoothed out. Or a financial or business worry isn't being resolved. Or there is a need for freedom from some chronic physical limitation. Try as we may, the solution doesn't seem to get any nearer. So what is wrong?

Well, could it be that unintentionally our efforts have been self-based rather that God-based? We can recognize if this is so when we hear ourselves saying: "I don't know enough to be able to heal," "I must study harder," "I must be falling short in some way," and variations on this theme. Did you notice the little word I that kept popping up? That I may mean that without our realizing it, we are believing ourselves to be personal healers—that it is our work, our prayer, our study, our knowledge of spiritual truth that brings about a healing. Thinking along these lines implies that willpower may be at work. But human will is not a healing agent. In fact it is counterproductive to Christian healing because it rests on belief in ourselves as material beings who can act apart from God. It is like looking through a telescope from the wrong end. What we are trying to see—the solution to our problem—appears to be farther away, which isn't so at all!

A life with purpose
January 10, 1994

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