No problem too small . . . or too big
The “real world” and its problems seemed very different than what I’d learned in Christian Science Sunday School, and I wasn’t sure I was up to dealing with them.
“God is Love” were the three words in big letters on the front wall of the Sunday School I’d attended since I was little. As I grew up, this great fact came to mean more and more to me, and I loved thinking about Love as unceasing, unchanging, and unconditional. But when I went out into the “cold, cruel world” as a young adult, it was hard to see the allness, everywhereness, onlyness, and goodness of God—let alone prove it.
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In fact, looking back on my early adulthood, I’d have to call myself a “Goldilocks” Christian Scientist. Though I wanted to experience God’s healing power, I felt I was waiting for a problem that was “just right” to come along before tackling it with prayer. But every problem seemed either too small to bother with, or too big for me to deal with. If God hadn’t awakened me, I’d still be waiting. But thankfully, He did wake me up!
Looking back on my early adulthood, I’d have to call myself a “Goldilocks” Christian Scientist.
Here’s how it happened. One night before bed, I was reading “Fruitage,” the last chapter in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. That last chapter is a compilation of thank-you letters from Christian Science newcomers to the book’s author and the Discoverer of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy. These individuals had been healed of all kinds of problems—even really big ones—just by reading Science and Health.
What impressed me the most was seeing that these people, all brand-new to Christian Science, hadn’t waited around for a problem “their size.” Rather, as what they were learning about God from reading the book was sinking in, it had healed them spontaneously, naturally.
It hit me that while I was stuck thinking my understanding was too small to make any kind of dent in my problems, these readers of Science and Health had demonstrated from the get-go what they were learning. This helped me see that understanding and demonstration—or putting these ideas about God into practice—go hand in hand. They actually work and grow together, and you can’t have one without the other.
That realization woke me up. “I do know God!” I acknowledged to myself. And thinking back to those three words on the Sunday School wall, I knew that the one thing about God I was certain of was that God is Love. I resolved then and there to stick with that.
Starting from that great fact, I reasoned that I couldn’t possibly find myself in any situation that was too hard for me, because a God who’s Love would and does meet each of us right where we are, and keeps lifting us higher. To me, “where we are” means at our point of need, at our present point of understanding. Of course, Love does that!
Thoughts like “This problem is too big” or “My understanding is too small” could never be from God, because Love gives us everything we need.
Reasoning further from the fact that God is ever-present, almighty Love, I could see how thoughts like “This problem is too big” or “My understanding is too small” could never be from God, because Love gives us everything we need. Actually, those thoughts are a sneaky denial of Love, since, as the Bible had taught me, Love is perpetually calling to each of us, “Look to Me, and be saved, All you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other” (Isaiah 45:22, New King James Version).
Wasn’t Paul saying essentially the same thing when he wrote in the New Testament, “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God” (II Corinthians 3:5, NKJV). I could see now that my practice of Christian Science wasn’t about me and my understanding, but about all that God is and does and how my very being flows out from that.
I was so grateful for this turning point! From that moment on, the other names for God I’d learned in Sunday School—Principle, Mind, Soul, Spirit, Life, and Truth—began meaning more, too. I’d certainly felt and proved the comforting and strengthening of Love, and now I was feeling the certainty of Principle, the wisdom of Mind, the grace of Soul, the spontaneity of Spirit, the vitality of Life, and the soundness of Truth, guiding, guarding, and governing me. And this gave me the confidence to face problems instead of fearing and avoiding them.
Every day gives us the opportunity to prove that nothing is too big or too small for God. He truly is Love, and we can feel the strength and healing power of Love when we turn wholeheartedly, trustingly to Him.
New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.