What if we could find relief from pain that was both immediate and permanent?
I’ve seen from experience that this isn’t a pipe dream. One time I was hiking with a group of students on the ridge of a mountain in New Zealand, with a 40-lb pack, over rocky and uneven terrain, with rain, hail, and 50 kph winds. This was a tough day to be hiking! On top of it all, it seemed I had broken my toe the day before.
I’ve always found the Bible an invaluable resource. One passage I love is where Christ Jesus referred to knowing the truth and being set free (see John 8:32). So what was this truth that I needed to know?
Searching for answers, I spent the entire hike that day praying, mentally communing with God each step of the way. There is a statement in “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science, that says, “There is no pain in Truth, and no truth in pain …” (p. 113).
I couldn’t see how this could possibly be true. When I have experienced pain, it has always felt quite real! But with each painful step on this mountain ridge, I urgently wanted to understand this statement.
I thought of a Bible story about a man named Jacob. He was on his way to see his brother Esau many years after having stolen his inheritance (see Genesis 32:22-31). During the night, he “wrestled” with an angel, refusing to let go until the angel blessed him, which it did. We might think of this blessing as being set free from what was at the root of his struggle – perhaps jealousy, arrogance, deceit.
This encouraged me. Like Jacob, I was determined to hold on to this statement, to ponder and be receptive to inspiration about it, until the understanding came and I was helped by it. And I’m grateful to say that it did.
What came to me was the truth about God as loving and good, and of our relation to the Divine. If God is All and only good, as the divine Science of Christ reveals, He could never create or cause anything but good – which would therefore exclude pain. I also reasoned that because God is Love (see I John 4:8), He could never create or cause pain for His beloved children, the very expression of His love, which all of us are.
Therefore, if God didn’t create or cause pain, and God is all-powerful, then injury or pain simply could not be the truth about me or any of God’s creation. These ideas comforted and uplifted me.
I also thought about the spiritual definition of “rock” found in the Glossary of Science and Health. It says in part, “Spiritual foundation; Truth” (p. 593). Accidentally kicking a large, hidden rock really hard in bare feet the day before was the cause of my current predicament. However, I realized that, even if I could “kick” Truth, God, divine Spirit, it could not result in pain or injury. And our spiritual foundation, or relation to the Divine, can never be broken.
I continued to hold on to these ideas until they made sense to me – not just on an intellectual level, but until I felt their truth deep within me.
At that point, I found my freedom: The pain completely vanished. I was able to hike the rest of the day, as well as for the rest of the weeklong hike, completely free from pain. Within a week or two of the injury, the toe returned to a normal shape, size, and color. I was also able to participate in all the other activities for the rest of our two-month trip with complete freedom.
Since then, I have applied these ideas to other challenges that have arisen and have found quick healing and resolution.
Each of us can turn to God, divine Truth itself, for the inspiration that frees us from pain or suffering of any kind.