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Stand up to fear and witness the Christ at work

From the November 12, 2018 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

Reaching to pick up something one morning, I discovered that I could not move my thumb, even after trying various ways of doing so. I desired to take a spiritual path and turn to God for healing, as Christ Jesus did in his ministry. Interested in Jesus’ record of healing and in the healing work of Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, I soon began addressing the situation through prayer as taught in Christian Science. 

I began thinking about the New Testament account of Jesus in the temple on the Sabbath day, when he healed a man with a “withered” hand (see Mark 3:1–7). Jesus’ critics, the Pharisees, had watched to see if he would heal on the Sabbath, thus breaking Mosaic law. They wanted to defame him. 

Jesus discerned and was displeased with the rigidity of their thoughts. Fearlessly trusting in God, he boldly called out the hypocrisy of the Pharisees. When the man held out his hand as directed by the Christ, the spiritual Truth that Jesus represented, his obedience was rewarded: He immediately received the blessing of a totally useful hand. What deep gratitude and joy he must have felt in experiencing the power of Christ to show God’s goodness! 

In my case, material thoughts taunted me, saying, “You are a material being made up of sinews, muscles, and nerves. There is no way to correct your problem by turning to God.” Despite this, I continued to pray, seeking a spiritual solution. 

God’s man is emboldened by Christ’s power.

I looked up the word muscle in the dictionary and was surprised to see that it is a diminutive of both the Latin and Greek words for mouse. I thought this was intriguing, since I would never have connected muscles with mice. I would have assumed just the opposite, since muscles are associated with physical strength and power. Prompted by this perspective to stand up for myself and not timidly cower before mortal thoughts, I persistently affirmed the divine fact that God made me in His spiritual likeness, without any debility. 

The teachings of Christian Science are founded on Christ Jesus’ healing ministry, and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, illumines the spiritual meaning of the Bible. On page 410 the author writes, “Christian scientific practice begins with Christ’s keynote of harmony, ‘Be not afraid!’ ” So God’s man is emboldened by Christ’s power, not left petrified and helpless in times of trouble. Waking up from the hypnotic lie that says we are flesh-and-blood beings subject to deterioration and malfunction, we can affirm our heritage as God’s spiritual and perfect reflection, and put out fearful thoughts as untrue.

Feeling inspired, I took a firm stand that if I persisted in prayer I could learn more of the spiritual perspective Christ Jesus and his disciples leaned on. Science and Health encourages us to pray with courage and confidence: “Mentally insist that harmony is the fact, and that sickness is a temporal dream. Realize the presence of health and the fact of harmonious being, until the body corresponds with the normal conditions of health and harmony” (p. 412). Jesus’ healing of the man with the withered hand was likely the result of just such insistence—that the man was whole and complete, not injured or deformed. 

In the case of my injured thumb, the more false belief insinuated that mortal man was the real man, the more I rebelled. No way was I giving in to this suggestion! I continued with this line of thought for a few days—knowing that I was God’s spiritual and whole reflection—and regained normal use of my thumb. It was healed.

This healing encouraged me to not be daunted in boldly applying divine Principle in my life.

This healing encouraged me to not be daunted in boldly applying divine Principle in my life. Fearlessly stepping out from the crowd of mortal thoughts and responding to the Christ-power, my thought yielded to the truth of man’s flawless substance as the upright, intact creation of Spirit, God.

What a delight for me to reconfirm that we don’t have to be afraid of facing up to discord. By watching the timbre and tone of the thoughts we are entertaining, we can prayerfully rout out discordant thoughts.

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