"This is amazing!" I thought, when I started experiencing the benefits of studying Christian Science. "Here is a religion that can bring health, freedom from lack, pleasant relationships, and a host of other good things. I'm glad to be feeling better, but honestly, this can't last. It's just too good to be true!"
And it was. From that standpoint. My improved health did last, but I had to find out that Christian Science isn't magic. All good is possible to anyone tyring to gain a clearer understanding of God and of man made in His likeness, but only if the gain is real. Mary Baker Eddy n1 writes, "The song of Christian Science is, 'Work -- work -- work -- watch and pray.'" n2
n1 Mrs. Eddy is the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.
n2 Message to The Mother Church for 1900,m p. 2.
So what about that word "work"? Part of a dictionary definition reads, "physical or mental effort exerted to do or make something; purposeful activity; labor." Prayer can certainly be "purposeful activity" and sometimes, if there's an unwillingness to give up preconceived notions about what God and man actually are, prayer might even be termed "labor."
I began to pray purposefully, and I found another thing happening. It seemed that I couldn't honestly pray and then live a denial of my prayer. I'd heard about someone asking a good Christian lady if she believed that God is Love.
"Of course I do!" came the quick reply.
"Then why," asked the puzzled inquirer, "don't you get along with your husband?"
The confusion was understandable. I didn't feel I had marital problems, but I could see many areas in my life where I could do better. Among other things I needed to be more childlike in my willingness to trust my Father-Mother God, and more honest with myself. This spiritual regeneration continues, and as it does, I find the Biblical promises of a better life increasingly fulfilled.
Christ Jesus healed the sick and the sinning and fed the multitudes, but those blessings didn't just happen. He spent many hours -- sometimes whole nights -- in deep, heartfelt communion with his Father-Mother, divine Love.Being the immaculately conceived Son of God, the master Christian didn't need the depth of regeneration those around him needed. He knew and lived his God-given nature from the start. But he still prayed with all his heart. When his disciples couldn't heal a difficult case that had come to them, Jesus effected a healing and explained, "This kind of goeth not out but by prayer and fasting." n 3
n3 Matthew 17:21.
"Christianity is again demonstrating the Life that is Truth, and the Truth that is Life, by the apostolic work of casting out error and healing the sick," n4 writes the Founder of Christian Science. This "apostolic work" is ours to do and ours to respond to through regeneration.
n4 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,m p. 97.
Can someone be healed without being aware that regeneration is the real purpose of Christian Science? I was; at the point of healing I had only a slight glimpse of what it meant to know God and man made in His image. But in about four yearning hours I had read and assimilated enough to open up possibilities I'd never before considered. Pure calm descended on my confused consciousness. So turbulent had been my feelings that this divinely influenced peace was enough to heal me, but I've since learned that this physical healing was only the beginning. Many character weaknesses needed to be dissolved. There was "apostolic work" to be done, and I'm still doing it.
No, Christian Science is not too good to be true. It heals us. It both demands and brings a readiness to give up preconceived notions of a godless, material universe. It inspires an eagerness to work for and listen to divine unfoldment and a willingness to bring our lives into line with what is revealed.
I'm glad it isn't magic. That isn't something we could depend on. But sincere desire, consecrated work, and regeneration? We can count on that! DAILY BIBLE VERSE I took the little book out of the angel's hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter. Revelat ion 10:10