THERE have been several occasions in my life when I've felt trapped, whether by sickness, or by an apparently dead-end job, or by a general sense of discouragement. And I'm happy to say that I've found freedom from these troubles. Perhaps most important, though, is the way that freedom has been achieved.
Why is this important? Isn't it enough that health replaced sickness and frustration gave way to satisfaction?
If I were looking for nothing more than temporary relief from an uncomfortable situation, the method of healing might be unimportant. But don't we all, ultimately, need more than temporary relief? Don't we, sooner or later, need to come face to face with some fundamental questions - questions about what provides genuine, lasting freedom; about the source of true power; about what really governs us; about who we really are? Maybe we've never thought about such things. But they relate directly and unavoidably to our well-being, even to our salvation.
Are we, for example, simply physical beings, governed by physical conditions, subject to physical laws? Are we mere mortals, pretty much on our own, either victimized or supported by whatever circumstance we happen to find ourselves in? We may be inclined to answer yes to these questions. After all, that's the way things seem to be. But where is the justice in such a view? Aren't we, in effect , leaving God out of the picture, attributing power to physicality rather than divine Spirit, to circumstances rather than divine law?
We often discount God because we assume that what our eyes and ears tell us is the whole story and that not much can be done to change things, particularly by a God we can't see. My usual first inclination, in the instances mentioned at the outset, was to go along with what the senses were reporting and to hope that things would eventually get better or to worry because they weren't getting better. But in each case this view was corrected by a higher view, and there was a wonderful resolution.
What was this view? It was a perception, transcending appearances, of God's constant care for man, of the uninterrupted well-being of His creation. It was a perception of spiritual truth, of the way things actually are, apart from the confused, unjust state of affairs we mistakenly call ''reality.'' This perception brought healing because I woke up, so to speak, to the divine reality of God's supreme power overruling discord; to the concord that characterizes man's actual nature as God's likeness.
Maybe you're wondering how a change of view, or a change of thought, could possibly heal a ''solid'' physical condition or lead to a better job. The answer is that troubles aren't the realities they seem to be, because God and the uninvadable harmony of His spiritual creation are the actual reality. Man, as God has created him, is the pure, loved, satisfied image of God's indestructible , perfect being. Healing, then, becomes a matter of discerning this reality rather than manipulating the body or rearranging circumstances.
And this is significant because it means we have dominion over circumstances, that we understand the source of true power to be God and perceive that God is good. It means we recognize that good is the natural, God-bestowed state of our being, and that we can prove this. It means that we're not going through life merely hoping for the best or blaming factors beyond our control, but that we're relying on unfailing, universal divine Love, God, for our every need.
Christ Jesus taught: ''The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.'' n1 The happiness we want isn't so much a product of circumstances as of the inward realization that harmony is the present, spiritual fact of our being; that God is here, now, maintaining that harmony in every facet of our lives.
Luke 17:20, 21.
We gain that realization through simple trust in God; through silent prayer in which we shut out of thought the images and arguments of misfortune and listen for God's healing thoughts; through striving inwardly and outwardly to express the purity and love exemplified by Jesus.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, says, ''To divest thought of false trusts and material evidences in order that the spiritual facts of being may appear, - this is the great attainment by means of which we shall sweep away the false and give place to the true.'' n2
Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, P. 428.
This is how we gain the view that heals, the view that places our well-being on an unshakable basis. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Do ye look on things after the outward appearance? IICorinthians 10:7