The Christian Science spiritual method of caring for difficulties differs from all material methods. One of the most significant differences is that as we go about our work of solving a problem through prayer, in our hearts we know the problem is already solved because it’s unknown to God and therefore has no actual reality.
No material approach has this premise. It’s a crucial and foundational metaphysical point underlying our spiritual work. In this sense, the need in healing isn’t so much to fix things up as it is to wake up to see that things are already spiritual and complete!
I like to think of the account in the Bible when the disciples were working away in a boat trying to catch some fish, but to no avail (see John 21:1–14). You could say they were seeing the resolution of their problem as requiring great human effort and willpower, instead of realizing that a better understanding of spiritual reality, of what’s already true, would adjust the situation.
Christ Jesus, standing on the shore, called to them and explained how they could do it right. Then they cast their net on the right side—they were obedient to the Christly guidance—and their net was so full of fish they couldn’t pull it up. Jesus knew what would help the disciples, but they needed to do their part by being obedient.
The most interesting point to me, however, is how Jesus already had fish with him. Not only that, he had the fish baking on the coals, and some bread prepared, ready for the disciples to feast on. “As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread.”
I think of this when I’m working hard to solve some issue. When I’ve done my work correctly, the only possible outcome is an awakening to the love of Christ, Truth, and this awakening to the truth is what characterizes genuine healing and brings it to fruition. I’ll do my part, but “breakfast” is already prepared for me once I’ve seen the right way to fish—the right way to acknowledge God’s all-pervading and eternal perfection. It’s a wonderful reassurance to realize that even though we have our part to perform, healing comes from the Christ revealing what has always been true.
It’s fundamental to our practice of Christian Science to pray from the standpoint that healing comes as a result of seeing what has always been true, and that it is true now and forever. This understanding is what made Jesus’ prayers so effective—and can make ours effective also.
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