I remember the sunny afternoons during my childhood when my mom would call me to help her take care of numerous ornamental plants she cultivated in our backyard. The work consisted of digging the soil, removing the weeds, and watering the plants, which in a short time would respond to this tender care with new leaves and sprouts popping out. I was filled with joy to see this renewal manifested in such an abundant and exuberant way.
Later on, through the study of the Bible, I acquired a different concept of renewal. The “Preacher” says in Ecclesiastes, “Whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it” (3:14). The Preacher also mentioned: “That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past” (3:15). This understanding leads us to a thought transformation and, consequently, to a renewed vision of the divine and infinite good, which has always existed and is continuously within our reach to be enjoyed. I also learned that there is no accretion in the process of spiritual growth and healing, but rather the revelation of our true being as the spiritual image and likeness of God, who was, is, and always will be perfect, complete, and eternal.
Thinking deeply about these concepts filled me with inspiration and brought much serenity to my existence. We often face situations that lead us to changes. We may not always feel ready for them, because of fear, insecurity, and stubbornness. The best thing to do, when faced with changes, is to consider them opportunities for renewal and progress. On these occasions, it is important to express humility, which can set us free from the illusion that we are the creators of our lives or of our destiny, and bring us to understand that we shine, but with the light we reflect from our infinite Father-Mother, God, to whom belongs all power and all good. We reflect all the qualities and abilities of God. All that we have are gifts from God and without Him we would be nothing.
Resurrection involves breaking old paradigms.
The concept of renewal has a close connection with the concept of resurrection. In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy gives the following definition of resurrection: “Spiritualization of thought; a new and higher idea of immortality, or spiritual existence; material belief yielding to spiritual understanding” (p. 593). Resurrection involves breaking old paradigms that don’t offer the harmony so much aimed for by everybody. We can experience constant resurrections when we seek a closer familiarity with Christ Jesus’ teachings and follow them, for they highlight the power of God, divine and unlimited Love, who loves all of His children unconditionally, regenerating and freeing them from sin, sickness, and death.
There was a moment in my life when I experienced one of these resurrections. My husband suddenly passed away at a time when questioning life and its events had never crossed my mind. I was quite young, with two daughters entering adolescence.
It was then that I found Christian Science and was introduced to a radically new concept, namely, that death is an illusion, as Mrs. Eddy explained in Science and Health: “In the illusion of death, mortals wake to the knowledge of two facts: (1) that they are not dead; (2) that they have but passed the portals of a new belief” (p. 251). Further along, on page 469, she wrote: “Life is divine Mind. Life is not limited. Death and finiteness are unknown to Life. If Life ever had a beginning, it would also have an ending.” What an impact these ideas had on me! I nurtured a sincere desire to deepen my understanding of these concepts, which led me to a much higher, serene, and peaceful pattern of thought, and enabled me to move forward.
I call this experience my first conscious resurrection because it led me to a conscious and courageous change of thought, allowed me to recover peace, and to believe that I could be happy again. My life has since been peaceful. Problems are solved as they arise, since I focus on the great truth that God created me complete, secure, strong, and brave. I realized that every obstacle or difficulty is an opportunity for progress and that there is nothing to fear when I let God take the lead in my life.
I also realized the importance of prayer in order to experience renewal. We learn in Christian Science that prayer brings us to a conscious unity with God, as these verses in the Bible teach: “I and my Father are one” (John 10:30) and also: “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13). We express more strength, intelligence, and ability to find solutions to problems as we deepen our understanding of our unity with God. Knowing that I am an instrument in God’s hands and that God works in me both to will and to do brings the assurance that blessings are at my reach at every moment. Any earthly burden becomes lighter when we accept these divine truths.
Prayer is a powerful weapon against discouragement, and the habit of praying sincerely sustains our courage and our perseverance to overcome challenges and to advance spiritually. Through prayer, we are all capable of experiencing a conscious resurrection every time we rise above the limitations the human senses try to impose on us and instead enjoy the gifts that the effects of prayer bring to our lives.
Maria Elvira M. Drummond is a Christian Science practitioner living in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
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