Sometimes Christian Scientists find themselves facing a difficulty that doesn’t yield readily to their prayer. It’s tempting to be discouraged when earnest prayer seems to have no result. But every time we apply the spiritual laws that truly govern our existence, it has a healing effect, whether it’s initially visible on the surface or not. Confidently persisting in the truth despite evidence to the contrary brings us closer to understanding God’s infinite presence and goodness, until we finally see the proof of it in our lives.
I had an interesting lesson along this line some years ago when we hired a company to put a window in one of the basement walls along the back of our house. The workmen brought a large circular saw and began to cut a hole three feet high and four feet wide. This took them a couple of hours, because the cement was a foot thick and very dense. Finally, they came into the house with their sledgehammers and knocked the massive block of cement out onto the ground. The house shook as if there had been an earthquake.
As I looked at the enormous block, I wondered, “How are they going to get this thing up the hill to their truck?” But the workmen assured me all would be well. Using their sledgehammers, they took turns pounding the block of cement, which barely moved as it was slammed time and time again. The block gave no sign that it had even been touched. After every ten blows the workmen would stop, rest, and wipe their brows, and then start up again.
“Is this really going to break?” I asked. They just smiled and said, “Watch and see.”
After about 60 blows each, there suddenly appeared a hairline crack down the middle of the block. The men continued hammering until suddenly there was a loud crack and the entire block broke into pieces that they could carry up to their truck.
Throughout this process, what was apparent to me was the trust these men had in what they knew was going to happen, even though the physical evidence indicated otherwise. They had seen it before.
We express the fullness and perfection of God, right now.
I’ve found this example of undaunted persistence very helpful in learning to be a better Christian Science healer. Sometimes an illness, a financial problem, or some other discord appears in our experience and seems to resist healing. But all along, without any evidence showing, each affirmation of the truth about God’s allness and evil’s nothingness is like a hammer blow, weakening our belief in the error. It really is only our thought that needs to let go of what appears to be a frightening reality. Once we yield up the fear, the problem that has appeared to be so impenetrable breaks up and dissolves from our thought in a natural way, and we are free.
As Christ Jesus told his disciples: “Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith” (Mark 11:22, 23).
Five years ago I found myself unable to walk without pain in my hips. Walking and even sleeping at night became difficult. I immediately began to refute those suggestions that I couldn’t move easily anymore. During this time of praying, I realized I was being impressed by the beliefs of aging that I was seeing all around me. I had many responsibilities and didn’t want my thinking consumed with fears of losing my mobility.
As I listened for the ideas that God would give me, some wonderful ideas came. I remembered a statement I’d read many years earlier in an article in one of the Christian Science periodicals, that there is no coming or going, only being. I have always loved working with that thought. It said to me that all there is of me is right now. Not yesterday. Not tomorrow, only right now. And right now I am a perfect creation of God. I wasn’t a mortal with disintegrating bones and a weakening body. I was a complete idea of God, being perpetually made new by my creator.
In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy writes, “Man is the expression of God’s being” (p. 470). Thinking about that statement, I suddenly could see that I had no choice in this. I was created by God to express Him. This was and is my purpose in life. With this understanding, I became very diligent in facing anything in my thinking that was not in accord with this truth.
Whenever I was walking somewhere and my hips began to hurt, I would declare that the picture of a hobbled human was a lie about me, and I would argue instead that since man is the expression of God, I could experience only free and frictionless motion. As I prayed this way, the suggestion of painful movement would quiet down.
I had to persevere in this mental activity for many months, as the pain kept returning. But I refused to allow discouragement into my thinking, because I knew that healing was going on despite stubborn evidence to the contrary. Each time I faced this lie decisively, it was like a Christly hammer blow demanding that the false sensation cease, because it was only an unreal belief. And each time I worked with these spiritual laws, I felt my confidence in God, Truth, strengthen.
One day as I was walking to my car, I realized that I had total freedom in my walking. The lie of deterioration, pain, and fear of the future had totally dissolved in my consciousness, and this newfound sense of freedom continues to this day.
From this experience has grown a deep conviction within me that, as God’s spiritual reflection, each of us right now is all that we ever will be. We express the fullness and perfection of God, right now. Beliefs about a human experience and selfhood do not define us. The accumulation of years does not define us. The thought that we have a human past wrapped up in beliefs of heredity does not define us, because our creator, divine Mind, has already created us in His image “before the world began” (II Timothy 1:9). As we work to understand more clearly that God’s spiritual laws of being are the only laws that govern our existence, we yield up our thought to this power, and the body responds harmoniously.
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