Considering the regularity with which we're confronted with clocks and calendars as criteria for accomplishment, it's not surprising that discouragement may accompany a delay in resolving problems. But it is encouraging to discover that we can find freedom from the pressure imposed by time. Throughout history, there are examples of the value of persisting. And great progress accompanies the work involved in overcoming challenges, especially when they seem slow to yield. It helps to remember that every event in our lives can be viewed as an opportunity to progress further in our understanding of God and His care for us. Human observation categorizes experience as including ``good'' and ``bad'' times. And there's no question that there are times we'd rather not repeat, episodes that should never have occurred. Yet when health and regeneration result from a prolonged struggle, what may have seemed a bad time can be re-viewed as a springboard to healing.
Consider the great lawgiver, Moses. His experience included trials and difficulties beyond anything we might ever be called upon to deal with. The first eighty years of his life were preparation for the next forty -- the time it took for him to carry out God's command to lead the children of Israel to the Promised Land.
We can emulate this patient, faithful, and consistent progress in our daily activity. The trials we face can serve to shape the very substance of our spiritual strength and trust in God. It might be said that the prayer involved in meeting these trials forms the warp, and the challenges met through this prayer, the woof, of our knowledge of God as Life. Many clues to the ``how to'' of this progress may be found in the writings of Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science and founded the Church that publishes this newspaper. She writes, ``Hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true, and you will bring these into your experience proportionably to their occupancy of your thoughts.''1 ``The enduring, the good, and the true'' have their source in God, Spirit, not in material measurements of time or human planning.
I learned the truth of this during a period of invalidism resulting from a chronic respiratory problem. No medical solution was found, so I turned to Christian Science for healing through spiritual means, following the path shown us by Christ Jesus. I spent many hours searching for a deeper understanding of God and His power that would free me from fear and weakness. The effort to maintain hope and expectancy was really challenging as time wore on; but I persisted and won.
What I learned about God's goodness and His love for His children and about the reality of man's totally perfect spiritual selfhood was the foundation for continued progress. I'm glad now for the challenges that forced me to gain understanding in this direction. This experience wasn't an interruption of my life after all. But it did bring to a close my frantic, futile search for health and satisfaction apart from drawing near to God.
Delay is not a part of divine creation. We can set aside preconceived limits and apply ourselves to the task at hand, discovering more of our God-given dominion. As we put into practice what we're learning, wonderful changes begin to appear.
1Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 261.
You can find more articles about spiritual healing in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine.