“To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, to-day is big with blessings.” Mary Baker Eddy made this important statement the first sentence of the Preface to her primary work, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (p. vii). Dictionary definitions of sustain include “to strengthen” and “to support.” So when reading this statement, I like to think of the limitless, infinite support we have from God, “the infinite One” (Science and Health, p. 112). We just need to lean on this support to see blessings!
I experienced a significant healing when I stopped leaning on material substances for aid and turned to “the sustaining infinite” in prayer. I was brought up in a loving Christian Science family and learned about God and prayer at home and in the Christian Science Sunday School. But as I got older, I found myself attracted to smoking when situations got tough. Over the years, I would secretly smoke, then give it up for a while, then start again.
Every time I fell back into the habit, I felt wretched. I would request Christian Science treatment from a Christian Science practitioner, find relief, and stop for a few years; but when difficulties built up, I would pick up the habit again. This addiction went on for over thirty years.
Don’t get me wrong—when difficult things occurred over the years, I would always work to prayerfully address the situation first, but in hindsight I realize I was probably just asking God why something was happening to me more than sticking with the truth! I wasn’t praying from the basis of God’s all-power and all-goodness. I was still somewhat believing that the difficulty was greater than God.
Finally, I got to a point where I was so sick of the recurring habit that I knew I had to knuckle down and conquer this problem for good. I needed to pray to better understand that smoking was a physical crutch that wasn’t supporting me and never could. It was distracting me from leaning on the one power that can free us from materiality. When we humbly lean on God, divine Love, at no point are we on our own. At no point does this sustaining, infinite Love give up on us.
With the patient prayers of a dear friend and practitioner, as well as my own prayerful alertness and diligence, I was able to stop this habit of leaning on smoking when problems occurred. When I had the humility to refuse to be driven by my own willfulness, and to trust “the sustaining infinite” by acknowledging God’s control of every situation, I experienced healing. Discordant situations began to have less impact on—less power in—my thought.
My journey of learning that the only real support and comfort is from God wasn’t easy. It was only through persistence and prayer that I won my freedom! The huge blessing from this was not just permanently stopping smoking, but also realizing that I can rely on God to help me deal with any discordant situation, whether related to health, relationships, finances, housing, work, or any other aspect of life. God sustains us in every way.
How hard is it to lean? What do we feel when we do lean? Say you’re leaning against a wall. First you feel support, then relief. The support relieves the tired feeling. When we lean on and trust the spiritual law of God, we can’t help but feel supported and relieved, since God is Love.
We can claim our right to the blessings of “the sustaining infinite” right here, right now, no matter what the circumstances look like. In this way we affirm God’s power in our lives and can avoid succumbing to the turbulent material picture impressing its supposed reality on us. There is something much bigger in control of our universe: “the sustaining infinite.” How wonderful it is that this support can never be removed!
Stockport, Greater Manchester, England
Access more great content like this
Welcome to JSH-Online, the home of the digital editions of The Christian Science Journal, Sentinel, and Herald. We hope you enjoy the content that has been shared with you. To learn more about JSH-Online visit our Learn More page or Subscribe to receive full access to the entire archive of these periodicals, and to new text and audio content added daily.