Commentary A Christian Science Perspective

Knowing God better

A Christian Science perspective: Understanding our connection to God brings healing.

  • Annette Dutenhoffer

My friend took the bar exam recently. After finishing the grueling three-day test, she said that she has learned something about how to leave worry behind. It includes being grateful for her abilities and trusting that God is in control – guiding and providing for her. More valuable than an understanding of how to practice law, it sounds as if she has come through school with a better understanding of God and of how her connection with the Divine can bring her through difficult times.

She isn’t alone. Praying daily to acknowledge my connection with God has brought me through difficult times, too. My prayer is very similar to the prayer the founder of this publication, Mary Baker Eddy, shared in one of her writings: “An increasing sense of God’s love, omnipresence, and omnipotence enfolds me. Each day I know Him nearer, love Him more, and humbly pray to serve Him better” (“The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany,” p. 174).

For me, a good starting point for this healing prayer to know God nearer begins with a look at the life of Christ Jesus. He voiced a profound recognition of his connection to God when he said, “I and my Father are one” (John 10:30).

In the textbook of Christian Science, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” Mrs. Eddy explains that Jesus wasn’t claiming to be God or equal with God. Jesus himself made this clear on several occasions (see, for example, Matthew 19:17). Rather, he claimed his spiritual unity with God when he spoke of God being the Father of all (“Our Father” in the Lord’s Prayer is one example). Speaking generically of man, Eddy explained this saying further when she wrote, “As a drop of water is one with the ocean, a ray of light one with the sun, even so God and man, Father and son, are one in being” (Science and Health, p. 361).

Jesus’ understanding that all of God’s spiritual creation has a permanent and unbreakable connection with divine Spirit enabled him to heal numerous people. They were led out of immorality; they were healed of diseases that had held them as outcasts from society; and they were freed from mental illness and its subsequent self-destructive behavior (see the four Gospels in the Bible – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John).

Jesus said that his followers, too, could heal all manner of ailments. A devotion to his teachings brought healing results then, and we can still see results today.

I recall a time a little over a year ago when I felt disconnected from God. I was in a great deal of physical pain because of a pinched nerve. Night and day it bothered me. I even found it challenging to carry out my normal activities.

I prayed to better understand God’s nature and my relation to Him based on Jesus’ teachings. The result of that prayer was a recognition that God is good itself, and therefore could be the creator of good only. Consequently, pain couldn’t possibly be created by Him, and so I didn’t have to accept that it was more powerful than the spiritual fact of my present and enduring oneness with God.

There’s a letter in the Bible written by St. Paul to the Romans that came to mind at this time. The early Christian teacher and pioneering missionary pointed out, “Neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38, 39). I realized that both a pinched nerve, and the pain that was connected to it, could easily be included in that list. They couldn’t impede my continuous and permanent unity with God.

Very soon, I was free from both the pinched nerve and the pain. This healing experience stands out to me as the direct result of my prayer to know God better.

It’s possible for anyone to feel more of that oneness with God and experience its profound, healing impact on our lives and on the lives of those around us.