I’ve been praying a good deal lately about post-traumatic stress disorder. The perspective I have gained from my study of Christ Jesus’ teachings and Mary Baker Eddy’s writings has helped me to see even beyond positive thinking that would turn lemons into lemonade. Instead I’ve learned something about the natural spiritual law that operates on behalf of everyone impartially and that we can learn to yield to.
It starts with the idea that man and woman are created in the “image” of God, to be “very good”—like God (see Genesis 1:26, 27, 31). This means that we inherently reflect the good that comes from God; it is the law of reflection that man is the harmonious expression of God. As we begin to understand this, we experience healing and gain the confidence and strength to meet adversity.
The Bible is full of people who triumphed over difficult circumstances. Joseph, for example, was dumped into a pit by his jealous brothers, sold into slavery, and imprisoned for something he hadn’t done. But his understanding of his closeness to God enabled him to turn each adversity into a blessing. Joseph didn’t ask, “Why me?” He trusted in God’s care. This helped him out of the pit and later enabled him to interpret Pharaoh’s dream, prevent starvation during a famine, and reconnect with and forgive his family.
It was as if Joseph knew that the real story was not the episodes of one difficulty after another, but God’s endless loving care (see Genesis 37—50). Surely Joseph was living proof of this promise from the Bible: “All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). Joseph moved forward as he kept close to God in his prayers and was obedient to the guidance he was getting from God, which gave him courage, protected him from harm, and provided for his needs.
We, too, can experience progress by seeing something of our oneness with God. Our real experience, after all, is as God’s expression of Himself. Goodness, mercy, wisdom, and so on come from God and are inherent in us as His children—natural for us to express. Instead of being buffeted about by the human sequence of good and bad events, we can cling to our understanding of good and strive to express these qualities in every circumstance—empowered by an understanding of where we truly come from. This in turn allows us to conquer adversity, helping us grow and progress.
A loved hymn sums it up this way:
I look to Thee in every need,
And never look in vain;
. . . . .
Embosomed deep in Thy dear love,
Held in Thy law, I stand:
Thy hand in all things I behold,
And all things in Thy hand.
Thou leadest me by unsought ways,
Thou turn’st my mourning into praise.
(Samuel Longfellow, Christian Science Hymnal, No. 134)
The more consistently we identify ourselves as the expression of God, the more we will find that we are able to overcome adversity and move forward.
Adapted from an article published in The Christian Science Monitor, June 23, 2016.
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