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When challenges arise in the course of spiritual growth

From the December 2017 issue of The Christian Science Journal

A small group of believers is called to rise up, renew their faith, and devote themselves unreservedly to rebuilding the wall surrounding their sacred city. This story—of Nehemiah and his people (see Nehemiah, chapters 1—6)—had my full attention one Monday morning as I began reading it in the Christian Science Bible Lesson for that week.

I had recently been praying in a more consecrated way in support of the practice of Christian Science healing, well aware that along the path of anyone’s growing spiritual commitment, trials are encountered at times. Nehemiah’s account of how the Israelites, under his inspired leadership, faced persistent opposition with courage, spiritual alertness, and steadfastness felt alive with implications for my prayers.

About midway through the Lesson, on the heels of verses recounting various attempts by Nehemiah’s opponents to waylay and ultimately prevent the people’s work, came this brief correlative selection in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy: “Spirituality lays open siege to materialism. On which side are we fighting?” (p. 216).

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