To calmly persist

God gives each of us what we need in order to rise above the pressures of time, fear, and medical prognosis and experience complete healing.

In the New Testament, Matthew relates a beautiful story about a persistent mother seeking help from Jesus for her daughter, whom she said was possessed by a demon (see Matthew 15:22–28). 

The mother’s pure love for her daughter, and the poise, intelligence, and calm persistence she expressed, trumped every obstacle against her. She recognized Jesus as the Messiah and had heard about his extraordinary healing works, so she called out to him urgently, loudly, and repeatedly. But she was a Canaanite and not a Jew. The disciples pleaded with Jesus to send her away, but nothing deterred the woman. 

When Jesus finally turned to her, he indicated that his mission was to the Hebrew people. But the woman persisted, humbly asking for even a crumb of the healing Truth. Jesus responded, “O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt.” The account concludes, “And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.” The mother’s unwavering love and persistence opened the way for the Christ to reveal her daughter’s innate health. 

Our God-given ability to calmly persist in acknowledging spiritual Truth has its reward in healing.

Christian Scientists understand God as Father-Mother as well as divine Love, and the Christ as the divine idea of God, which comes to human consciousness. The Bible tells us, “God is love” (I John 4:8), and Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, uses Love with a capital L as a name for God. An unshakable, pure mother-love moved the woman in the Bible story to help her child. 

The enduring, divine Love that man reflects as a child of God is the basis for Christian Science practice. Mary Baker Eddy points out in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, “If the Scientist reaches his patient through divine Love, the healing work will be accomplished at one visit, and the disease will vanish into its native nothingness like dew before the morning sunshine” (p. 365).

But what if healing takes more than one treatment or visit? What if a condition seems unyielding? Do we give up?

Christian Science treatment has a long history of healing the sick quickly and effectively through prayer that acknowledges God’s perfection—His omnipotence, omnipresence, and pure goodness—and the perfection of man created in His image and likeness. The affirmation of the absolute truth of God and man may be opposed by world belief, medical opinion, physical-sense testimony, fear, or time. But our God-given ability to rise above even the most stubborn opposition and calmly persist in acknowledging spiritual Truth has its reward in healing.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines perseverance as “continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition: . . . steadfastness.” As a quality rooted in God, infinite Love, it is intrinsic to success in so many avenues of life, including the practice of Christian Science.

For some time a dear friend of mine had a painful condition on her legs that required daily nursing care by her husband. A key point in their progress came when they committed to implementing the following counsel from Science and Health: “Look away from the body into Truth and Love, the Principle of all happiness, harmony, and immortality. Hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true, and you will bring these into your experience proportionably to their occupancy of your thoughts” (p. 261).

They sang hymns, read Christian Science literature, and prayed. They occupied thought with spiritual truths, affirming that man’s spiritual selfhood is intact and inviolable, uninvadable by disease. They knew that “all is under the control of the one Mind, even God” (Science and Health, p. 544). They also strove to be more loving, especially to others, even those with whom they disagreed. 

Nothing can obstruct the power of divine Love.

Daily, they cherished the truth of man’s spiritual selfhood and refused to allow discouragement to come in. Like the Canaanite woman, my friends humbled themselves to embrace healing. They determined to trust God with all their heart, countered fear with faith in God, and didn’t give up. They remained expectant and joyful that Christian Science is effective and dismissed time as a factor in healing.

The couple lived in an area where Christian Science nurses were not available, so eventually they hired medical nurses to assist in the practical care needed. The nurses did not administer any medicine. After some time, one of them commented, “Your legs are getting better!” 

As the weeks progressed, the nurses continued to comment on the healing and asked how this was happening, since the medical view was that the condition was incurable. My friend joyfully shared Christian Science with the nurses, and shortly after that she totally recovered.

Clinging steadfastly to the truth of God and man breaks the dream or illusion of a sick mortal and brings healing. Nothing can obstruct the power of divine Love or prevent man from grasping that clear recognition of his perfection as a child of God. Nothing—whether the mesmerizing pull of images of sickness, the fear of disability or death, the passage of time, or doubts cast on Christian Science healing—has any power to wear down faith and effort when one is armed with the spiritual perseverance rooted in divine Love.

God gives each of us what we need in order to rise above the pressures of time, fear, frustration, and medical prognosis and experience complete healing. Love never gives up, and neither need we.

An economy of ideas
January 16, 2023

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