Sometimes circumstances may seem bleak. But the ever-active light of Christ is here to inspire, rejuvenate, and heal.

Christian Science Perspective audio edition
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In temperate latitudes, as the light begins to shift and the days become a little longer, a hint of color appears on the tops of bare trees, and icy streams begin to thaw out, one can feel the joy of renewal in the coming of spring. One senses a breakthrough! Hope and expectancy fill the air as the landscape transforms into one of activity and color.

But there is, in fact, activity filling those long months of winter. For instance, we cannot see the strengthening of the root systems of trees. Yet all the natural developments of ecology are taking place.

At times in our own lives, we may feel overwhelmed by the gray days of “winter,” so to speak. Perhaps the end of a relationship, financial worries, or a health situation causes discouragement. I’ve experienced this before, even all at once! But I have to say, prayer throughout those experiences has helped me realize, more than ever, that there is a powerful divine order – the power of God, divine Life, sustaining us. This divine “order,” or spiritual law, is explained in Christian Science, which shows that the universe is the eternal and infinite expression of the one God that is pure Love and light.

If we open our hearts to this activity of divine light within us and trust its guiding, healing power – just as we trust the coming of spring – then we begin to recognize our resilience and self-worth as God’s own reflection. No challenge, however severe, can separate us from God’s infinite goodness, and absolutely no one can be left out of it. This understanding enables us to recognize the Godlike qualities within everyone – the Christliness and goodness that you and I actually consist of.

It’s been helpful for me to realize that “wintry” or “wilderness” times can also be times of spiritual progress that bring healing, even if it doesn’t always feel like it. The prophet Isaiah spoke of a voice that said, “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord” (Isaiah 40:3, New Revised Standard Version).

Years ago, a relationship I’d been in for a long time suddenly ended. I felt sad, hurt, afraid, and lost. I was living in a new city on a student budget, and also facing a lingering problem with my health. Everything seemed pretty dark and dismal.

But a persistent intuition kept me from giving in to feeling sorry for myself. I’ve since come to realize that this voice of hope was the Christ, God’s message of love and care for all. Through Christ, I felt connected to divine Love and inspired to “wait on God,” a phrase Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science, uses in “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” (p. 323). For me, this “waiting on God” was a heartfelt desire to feel God’s goodness.

For a while, there seemed to be no visible progress. Yet I knew that my communion with God was strengthening me, helping me let go of pride and fear, and nurturing my spiritual growth.

And then I noticed signs of progress. My health normalized. The regeneration wasn’t just physical, but mental, too. I began to feel God’s love for me, and mine for God. Cold, fearful thoughts softened into kinder, repentant ones. I became more patient, humble, and loving. I was filled with gratitude for what felt like the returning of spring within me, and perceived “the beauty of holiness” (I Chronicles 16:29), or light of Love, shining through everyone. These blessings radiated outward, improving my interactions with those around me.

In an article titled “Voices of Spring,” Mrs. Eddy writes about these blessings of transformation. “It is good to talk with our past hours, and learn what report they bear, and how they might have reported more spiritual growth. With each returning year, higher joys, holier aims, a purer peace and diviner energy, should freshen the fragrance of being” (“Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896,” p. 330).

If you are struggling to overcome difficulties of any sort, don’t be afraid to “wait on God.” As you faithfully cherish your Christly nature and the light of God, don’t be surprised when you begin to feel a more consistent and spiritual satisfaction, renewal, and a purer peace – as Christ Jesus put it, the kingdom of God within you (see Luke 17:21).

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.