Joyful expectation

Since all that is real is good, any suggestions that we can’t feel or experience good aren’t valid.

One winter morning, my husband and I were spending some quiet time in the living room before breakfast. I was trying to get myself into a positive frame of mind about the upcoming day, but it was feeling like a chore to do that, and my thoughts kept wandering, without enthusiasm, to my to-do list. 

Meanwhile, every time either of us shifted in place or got up for any reason, our two dogs would leap up with wagging tails and sparkling eyes, smiling as dogs do, clearly expecting their breakfast to arrive early since we were up. As I watched them over the next hour, it struck me how different their expectations for the day were from mine. I was trying to feel joyful anticipation, and they were just doing it.

I suspect that many of us can relate to the frustration of trying hard to feel joy, love, forgiveness, or something other than the negativity we may be experiencing. Often, we seem to have good reason to hold on to negative emotions—and even kind of enjoy wallowing in them. And then we may add guilt to our burden. 

It’s natural to expect good when we have no doubt that we are loved and cared for.

But we don’t need to be helpless victims of feelings that come over us without our consent. Christian Science shows us that our state of mind stems from the thoughts we’re choosing to entertain, and we can always choose better thoughts that are based on a clear understanding of God and our relation to Him. 

The Bible opens with the statement, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” It goes on to describe creation in more detail, including man made in God’s image and likeness. Then it summarizes, “God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1:1, 31). It does not say that God created some things good and some not so good! 

Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science, studied the Bible diligently for many years to understand the truth about God and His all-good creation and how it relates to the many healings reported in the Old and New Testaments. She found that by understanding and holding to the real, spiritual sense of God and of what we are as His reflection, she and her students were able to consistently heal in the way Christ Jesus did. 

Her sermon Christian Healing instructs us: “God is All, and in all: that finishes the question of a good and a bad side to existence. Truth is the real; error is the unreal. You will gather the importance of this saying, when sorrow seems to come, if you will look on the bright side; for sorrow endureth but for the night, and joy cometh with the light” (p. 10). 

Sometimes it can feel like a lot of work to look past the dark picture conveyed by the material senses and see only good, but that is exactly when we need to recognize that evil is not a reality. It is a mistaken impression coming from a limited, material view. Logically, if all that is real is good, then any suggestions that we can’t feel or experience good aren’t valid, and we can recognize their falsity and let go of them. 

On that cold winter morning when I was working hard to expect good in the coming day, my dogs showed me how natural it is to expect good when we have no doubt that we are loved and cared for. Knowing that our divine Father-Mother is always providing for us, we can practice this trust every day, as I did recently after our cat passed away. 

I wanted to get another cat, but after listening to stories about the challenges of adopting a pet, I was tempted to accept that locating the right cat for our home would be difficult. I started my quest by looking at animal rescue websites. As I filled out applications and posted on social media, I was expecting roadblocks and challenges, and that’s exactly what I got. On the one hand, I was deluged with responses about all manner of cats needing homes, but on the other, there was a lack of response when I followed up with specific inquiries. 

After a few days of this, I finally realized I needed to trust the situation to God’s care. I needed to pray to see that every element of it was already established in the divine Mind and must therefore evidence God’s goodness. I got quiet and listened for inspiration from the divine Mind, God. 

I started to see a mental image of the perfect cat—actually two large male cats. The next morning there was an email requesting that I call a woman about a particular cat. I made that call and found that she was looking for a home for two big male cats that had belonged to her sister, who had recently passed away. She was very grateful that I would take them both. 

A few days later, these two beautiful cats were not only delivered to our home but came with all their supplies, including food and litter for several months. What a wonderful lesson in joyfully expecting God to bless us!

NEXT IN THIS ISSUE
How I Found Christian Science
My wilderness experience led me to Christ
September 19, 2022
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