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Drop the burden

From the September 2021 issue of The Christian Science Journal


Often when facing a problem, whether it be related to our health, finances, or personal relationships, we take on a sense of burden about the issue. The weight of burden arises from a personal sense of responsibility for whatever we are facing—a sense that suggests it is ours to fix.

But we can find freedom from this by understanding that God, the only true power, has never laid any burden or problem upon us. Our work is in being willing to strive to understand what is true and what is not, and to receive the healing power of Christ, which Jesus represented—the power of God, Spirit, over a material sense of life. This ever-present Christ, the Messiah, brings salvation, freedom from discord in whatever form it is presented, throughout all time.

We see evidence of this salvation in the Bible. The Gospel of Mark records that wherever Jesus went, the people placed their sick where he was to pass by so that he could heal them (see 6:56). And Matthew says, “Great multitudes came unto him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus’ feet; and he healed them” (Matthew 15:30).

The act of laying someone down at Christ’s feet indicates great humility and submission to divine authority and power. The fact that these family members or friends, who may have felt a responsibility for their sick loved one, laid them at Jesus’ feet indicates they gave up their personal sense of responsibility. They submitted to the power and authority of the Christ. There was no anticipation of the need to plead or argue for healing. Rather, there was a complete expectation, based on the goodness, compassion, and love that Jesus demonstrated wherever he went, that the power of God would prevail and heal.

Two verses from a hymn express clearly the concept of casting our burdens on God and trusting in His care to deliver us:

How gentle God’s commands,
How kind His precepts are;
Come, cast your burdens on the Lord,
And trust His constant care.

.   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   

His goodness stands approved,
Unchanged from day to day:
I drop my burden at His feet,
And bear a song away.

(Philip Doddridge, adapt., Christian Science Hymnal, No. 124)

Casting our burdens on God is not a diminishing of our responsibility to live a Christian life and strive to do the works that Jesus said his followers would do. It is a letting go of a false, material concept of life and recognizing the true, spiritual government and law that each of us lives under—the Science of the Christ, expounded in the Christian Science textbook by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. 

This Science is founded on the laws of God, on the understanding that God is the only creator; that because God is Spirit, all life is entirely spiritual; and that God creates only that which is good. 

The textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, says: “Christ presents the indestructible man, whom Spirit creates, constitutes, and governs. Christ illustrates that blending with God, his divine Principle, which gives man dominion over all the earth” (p. 316). Spirit, God, creates, constitutes, and governs all life, and the Christ brings healing to the human mind and body, as Jesus proved by healing all manner of disease.

A few years ago, I experienced healing through a clear understanding that I was not to carry a sense of burden. I was attending meetings that required a great deal of my attention and time. Shortly after commencing, I started to suffer with intense pain in one leg. During the night it became far worse. I found I could sleep only an hour or two before waking in pain.

I immediately started to pray with the understanding that God, Spirit, is the only cause and creator of all life and that I was not bound by material laws. My prayers brought moments of clear inspiration, which resulted in relief from the pain and gave me the courage to continue, but I did not find complete freedom.

One night the sense of oppression was extreme, and I felt I couldn’t go on with the meetings. Because it was late at night, I emailed a Christian Science practitioner in a different time zone asking for help. A response came very quickly and brought immediate relief. I was able to rest and be refreshed enough to continue the next day. The intense pain and oppressive sense of needing to give up going to the meetings were completely gone.

I was not required to fix a problem, but having to understand that all is governed by God and His laws.

However, I was still experiencing some pain. When I mentioned this to another experienced Christian Scientist, their immediate and firm response was to “drop it at His feet.” I immediately recognized the need to drop the whole issue and yield to God’s care. I saw that I was not required to fix a problem, but having to understand that all is governed by God and His laws of good. In doing so, I was free to do what was set before me without any weight of personal responsibility. Instantly the pain was gone, and it did not return.

Yielding to God’s care is not blind faith or positive thinking, but rather an understanding of the Science of being that Jesus demonstrated by healing all kinds of sin and sickness. He proved that what the physical senses present is not true, because it directly contradicts the reality of what God has made. If it were true, Jesus would not have been able to instantaneously heal all types of illness and other discords. A personal belief in a need to fix one’s problems is burdensome because it fails to recognize that we are governed by God and under His constant care.

Christ Jesus knew with absolute certainty that God is the only cause, regardless of what the material senses present. Today, the power of Christ still reveals our true, God-made individuality and brings the human into conformity with the divine. However, to avail ourselves of this regeneration, we must be willing to let go of erring human thoughts and let Truth expel material beliefs. No amount of human reasoning or visualizing good will bring the redemption that comes from yielding to Christ. The light of Truth illumines spiritual understanding, and we find we have no other consciousness, no other Mind, than God, and the harmony of all being is seen to be present.

Healing sin and sickness demonstrates the Science of being—the facts of Life, the laws of God, who is the only creator—and denies the physical sciences premised on a material sense of life. Because this Science is eternal Truth and therefore unchangeable, we can let go of all sense of personal responsibility. When we do this understandingly, acknowledging and trusting God’s “constant care” and “goodness . . . unchanged from day to day,” we will find healing.

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