Reversing the Opposition
Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life
Sometimes a problem appears too large for us to hope for resolution. It might involve illness, financial distress, or a troubled relationship. Perhaps various solutions have at first presented the potential for satisfaction, but then have only ended up adding disappointment.Skip to next paragraph
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Is the only answer to give up?
No. There are no problems so big that your only answer is to admit defeat. Jesus Christ said: "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me .... For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light" (Matt. 11:28-30). He continually confronted circumstances that others would find overwhelming, and he prevailed. He healed seemingly hopeless diseases, resolved moral crises, even raised the dead. In addition, Jesus taught that his followers in all ages could face and defeat implacable enemies.
Once, Jesus encountered a woman who had been bent over for 18 years and could not straighten up (see Luke 13:10-17). She might have been discouraged and resigned to her disability, but Jesus didn't allow her to remain that way. He called her to him, she responded, and he healed her.
Mary Baker Eddy, who founded the Church of Christ, Scientist, wrote about Jesus' healing method: "Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals. In this perfect man the Saviour saw God's own likeness, and this correct view of man healed the sick" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Pgs. 476-477).
According to the Science of Christ, Jesus was calling that woman to move forward - not just physically, but spiritually. That is, he called her to leave behind limited, disabled views of herself and to behold her status as the perfect, unlimited, and unbound child of God.
This same spiritual concept is what will heal you and me. There is no situation that is bigger than God. We must be assured, as Jesus was, that God's power is all-power. We can heal with the spiritual authority God bestows on us, confronting and destroying the evil that challenges us, seeing clearly that God created us spiritually, without a single imperfect element.
My son recently wrestled in a high school tournament. In practice the day before, he had injured his ribs but felt he could still participate. During the first match, I could tell that he was struggling. He won the match, just barely, but was obviously in pain. I left the stands to talk with him, but he said he was through and went to the dressing room. While he was there, I began to pray, to behold "in Science the perfect man."
When my son came out of the dressing room, I shared a sentence from Science and Health with him that I felt was appropriate for his situation: "Rise in the conscious strength of the spirit of Truth to overthrow the plea of mortal mind, alias matter, arrayed against the supremacy of Spirit [God]" (Pgs. 390-391). As a wrestler, he was aware of the opportunities he had to rise off the mat in difficult situations. To reverse his opposition and win. I could see him thinking about rising, with God's power, to overthrow this opponent of pain and injury that would keep him from participation. He could leave behind the view of himself as hurt, disabled, mortal, and see himself as the whole and free child that God had created him to be.
He talked with a Christian Science practitioner, who agreed to pray for him throughout the day. He had plenty of time between matches, and I saw his disposition change from resignation and hopelessness to confidence. In the second match he wrestled with greater freedom and advanced to the tournament finals. He was healed.
After Jesus had healed that woman, he was angrily confronted for doing it on the Sabbath day. His response was, "Ought not this woman,... whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?" As my son stood on the winners' platform to receive a medal, we both celebrated his triumph over the bonds of injury, as well as his wrestling victories.
We have the spiritual authority, the power from God, to confidently meet and defeat the troubles that seem to bind us. We can have a new, spiritually liberated perception of our identity as God's sons and daughters.