PEOPLE may be skilled swimmers and yet not adept at effortless floating. What more is required? I like to think of the missing element as trust--that simple trust that the water will hold them up. In some ways their very ability could put them at a disadvantage. Because they know so well how to maneuver in the water, how to get where they want to go, they may trust their own skill more than the water's buoyancy. Stroking and kicking and treading water may become easier for them than quietly trusting the water's natural support. Floating isn't that easy for insecure swimmers either. Not willing to trust either the water or their own skill, these swimmers attempt to float by keeping a toe or two on the edge of the pool.
There is an important point to be learned from these examples. In the ``stream of life'' we become ``swimmers'' with varying degress of proficiency. Yet whether we're of a confident or more hesitant nature, we all face the ultimate need to look outside of our own personal sense of ability, or lack of it, to keep our heads above water. If we're feeling overburdened with work or pressed by financial responsibilities or weakened by disease, our deepest need may be to understand something of God's law, of the government of divine Principle, and to rest in the comforting knowledge of our sonship with God.
Christ Jesus was supported by this divine law when he showed his dominion over the material forces that confronted him. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, says in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: ``Jesus walked on the waves, fed the multitude, healed the sick, and raised the dead in direct opposition to material laws. His acts were the demonstration of Science, overcoming the false claims of material sense or law.''1
Jesus was not just acting for that time but was the Way-shower for all time. He was lifting mankind's view above the turmoil and strife on the human scene to the reality of man's dominion as the child of God. Because God is Spirit, as the Bible teaches, His offspring are spiritual and therefore cannot be the hopeless victims of material forces and circumstances. Yes, we appear to be fleshly beings subject to forces outside our control. But as we're willing to open our thought to spiritual truth, which transcends appearances, we can prove that man is not subject to material laws detrimental to his well-being but is supported by spiritual law.
As we learn more about our sonship with God through study of the Bible, through prayer, and through an ever-increasing purification of thought, we can begin to trust divine law, as demonstrated by Jesus, to be evident in our own lives.
When Jesus came to the Sea of Galilee and met those who would become his disciples, wasn't it the authority and comfort of his sonship with God that spoke to them? Perhaps some of them were of the confident kind but tired of a lonely struggle with the sin and turmoil in their lives. And maybe there were those who held on to family or social structure for security. They might have wanted to let go and move into new ways of thinking but lacked the confidence to do so. Both kinds of people were to find the trust and comfort that they needed in the teachings of Christ. And when Jesus said, ``Follow me,''2 they did.
The healing and saving message of Christ is talking to each of us today. Our need is to be receptive to it. Christ reveals the true nature of the universe as governed by divine law, filled with the love of God, who is Love. As we strive to understand more about God and man's relationship to Him, our eyes are opened to abundance where we once saw only lack. A newfound sense of freedom and dominion begins to replace a feeling of burden. And we discover that health and strength are eternal, God-given qualities, spiritual realities that supersede the evidence of disease.
More important, we find the trust to let go of what we've always thought was true--but wasn't--and we gain the willingness to rest our lives on this higher sense of support. We learn to live in simple trust, resting securely on Christ Jesus' promise ``Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.''3
1Science and Health, p. 273. 2Matthew 4:19. 3Matthew 11:28. You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust: let me never be put to confusion . . . Thou shalt increase my greatness, and comfort me on every side. Psalms 71:1, 21