"Nevertheless at thy word"

Obedience , perseverance, humility, a willingness to be shown, to be guided—these traits of true discipleship have always had their reward, and in no realm of activity is this fact more apparent than in the study of Christian Science. Those who are seeking to gain an understanding of Christian Science and its healing power are apt to state that they are students of Christian Science, rather than that they are Christian Scientists. The sincere seeker is the student first and always, and knows that he must let his daily living attest whether or not he is a Christian Scientist.

One may perceive that a thing must be true because of the proof he sees, yet without any comprehension of why it is true. When one seeks to know why it is true, he is on the path of studentship! When he finds why it is true, and accepts the fact with joy, exemplifying it in his daily living, he is on the path of discipleship. Mary Baker Eddy, the Leader of the Christian Science movement, has given mankind in her textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," the means whereby all may become students and disciples.

Students: Get
JSH-Online for
  • Every recent & archive issue

  • Podcasts & article audio

  • Mary Baker Eddy bios & audio


The disciples of Jesus were constantly learning. All their experiences brought them nearer and nearer to the Christ. These faithful disciples of Jesus continually advanced, as does the student of Christian Science who is endeavoring to go higher in the understanding of the Truth which heals. Mrs. Eddy states in "The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany" (p. 5). "The spiritual understanding which demonstrates Christian Science, enables the devout Scientist to worship, not an unknown God, but Him whom, understanding even in part, he continues to love more and to serve better."

The incident recounted in the fifth chapter of Luke and spoken of by some commentators as "the first miraculous draught of fishes." is of valuable import to the student in Christian Science, bearing as it does the lesson of implicit obedience. It will be recalled that the Master had stepped into the ship belonging to Simon and asked that they push off from the shore, away from the importunities of the crowd. This accomplished, he said to Simon, "Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught." Simon had already washed the nets, the account tells us; but he answered, "Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net."

"Toiled all the night"! Nevertheless, at the Master's word, Peter, as he was later called, once again let down the heavy net. Humility, obedience, perseverance, brought immediate reward, for the draught which they hauled in filled two ships! Now, Simon might have complained about the all-night toil; he might have argued how weary they all felt, how hard they had worked, and how late it was. He might easily have felt that he knew more about fishing than this gentle Teacher. But he replied simply, "Nevertheless at thy word, I will let down the net." Instinctively Simon, who had not yet been called to become a fisher of men, respected the command of the Master. It is worth noting, too, that he did not apparently consider the "miraculous draught" as the final demonstration. If he had, he would not have left his nets at Jesus' call. But Simon was a true disciple. Hungering and thirsting for the Word, when the fish were brought to land he "forsook all, and followed him."

Have we toiled all night—all the dark and unfruitful night of error's blackness—and are we ready to give up? Have we, perhaps, cast the net repeatedly and brought forth nothing? Oh, let us listen for that command: "Launch out into the deep!" Let us cast again with unwavering faith in the Christ, and humility, obedience, and integrity will bring their reward.

Perhaps someone has waited long for freedom from some form of bondage and finds himself tempted to give up. Might it not be that he has not launched deep enough into the healing waters of Truth? Perhaps he has become mesmerized into the repetition of well-known statements of truth, instead of casting into the fresher waters of Mind's unfathomable depths! Or maybe he is not working under the guidance of his heavenly Father. Let him humbly ask for that guidance, assured by the Father's supporting promise (Isa. 61:8), "I will direct their work in truth."

Today the Christian Scientist must, of necessity, "launch out into the deep" to overcome the evil which so blatantly claims to be greater than God. Our Leader tells us in Science and Health (p. 233), "Every day makes its demands upon us for higher proofs rather than professions of Christian power." Then today demands a higher proof than was needed yesterday, and tomorrow will claim more understanding than was needed today. Thus thought must be found always advancing in the direct line of light towards demonstration through spiritual illumination.

It is always pertinent to ask oneself if all has been done that might be to express gratitude. I know a woman who washes out gold by hand on a western desert. And until one has tried to earn his living in this manner, he will never really know the hardship which it entails. This woman, who was having Christian Science help for a loved daughter, sent a five-dollar bill to the practitioner, saying. "Don't you dare send this back to me—it represents my demonstration, and if I cannot make the small ones, what right have I to ask for the greater?"

A Christian Science treatment should not be a toiling in the night, but should be an instant casting on the right side, with resulting bounty. It must always be, as it was with Simon and his companions, "at thy word." Inspired and directed by the healing Word of divine Truth, each treatment will be confident, fearless, expectant. And the result will then be more than adequate. It will be abundant with power.

Teach me, dear God, true patience in my learning, To feel no hurt when Truth corrects my way; To let firm trust in Thee still human yearning, And humbly wait for Love to guide each day.

E. Bernice Wood

The Ascending Path
March 23, 1946

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.