Grow With the Punches

Bringing a spiritual perspective to world events and daily life.

'Roll with the punches" may be a common saying, but it's limiting counsel. When events conspire against a normal, healthy, happy existence, you can do more than just resign yourself to living stoically; you can find healing. As a psalm says, God "shall deliver the needy when he crieth" (Psalms 72:12).

Mary Baker Eddy was a woman who experienced this kind of divine deliverance after events conspired against her. She was widowed in her twenties, and because of her own poor health, her only child was taken from her. A second husband was unfaithful and eventually deserted her. Yet she would later write: "The wintry blasts of earth may uproot the flowers of affection, and scatter them to the winds; but this severance of fleshly ties serves to unite thought more closely to God, for Love supports the struggling heart until it ceases to sigh over the world and begins to unfold its wings for heaven." She wrote this in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, her seminal work on spirituality and healing (p. 57). This book explains the healing rules Mrs. Eddy discovered and called Christian Science.

Ceasing "to sigh over the world" led Mrs. Eddy to a spiritual understanding of reality that filled those voids in her life in very practical ways. Her health was restored. God's love became more real to her, His presence more apparent. She experienced a happy marriage, wrote and distributed Science and Health, and founded a church based on the teachings of Christ Jesus.

Perhaps your own situation has led you to conclude that those "wintry blasts of earth" Science and Health speaks of are all too real. Well, these very conditions can actually turn you trustingly to God, to find reliable joy, dependable peace, consistent well-being. These become real as a person's life and thoughts yield to God's guidance-God's impulses. Those are always to be and to do good. Through these thoughts we come increasingly to feel ourselves supported by Him. It's a case of progressively knowing and expressing God, Love, in daily life, and it's a sure way to grow. It brings freedom from even the most long-standing problems of sickness, relationship friction, poverty, or unhappiness.

Because God is infinite, boundless, and is the source of our true being, we have no limits to our expression of good. As one's understanding of this increases, so does his or her confidence in God. The proof is healing.

We don't need problems in our lives in order to grow. By dedicating our lives to God, so as to become more unselfish, we can experience spiritual growth continuously. When the desire to understand and express divine Love remains at the forefront of thought, this empowers a person spiritually and adds happiness, health, and prosperity.

It is possible to be sincerely grateful for the lessons learned when restrictive "fleshly ties" are broken, even if it does not feel comfortable while it's occurring. The book of Job in the Bible describes how a series of tragedies forced Job to turn unreservedly to God, and therefore to grow and progress spiritually. Job found his faith in God sorely tested through disastrous events and the onslaught of disease. But he was not satisfied just to "roll with the punches" and resign himself to evil. Job argued against these injustices, both with his friends and with the God who seemed to have allowed such things to happen. Finally, a clearer realization of God's almighty power and unfailing love dawned on him. This assured him that God does not allow evil things to happen. Job put aside his own concerns and prayed for his friends. Restoration of what he had lost came to him, including his health. The Bible says, "The Lord turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before" (42:10).

The "punches" of life, beating against well-being, are never from God. They are prevented to the degree that one understands and obeys God's laws, and finds his or her desires and actions becoming good and unselfish. These are opportunities to understand God. Overcoming life's blows through spiritual understanding is the best response to trouble, for it brings growth.

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