“Waking to Christ’s demand, mortals experience suffering. This causes them, even as drowning men, to make vigorous efforts to save themselves; and through Christ’s precious love these efforts are crowned with success.” (Science and Health, page 22)
Shedding old ideas, giving up the mortal sense of a fear-filled and doomed life, can require a major adjustment. As this old and binding skin molts away, we may feel that our world is falling apart around us and even within us. This sense of suffering isn’t God’s requirement for our reaching Him. It is only that shift out of the familiar old way, and into the new. The birth canal is sometimes dark, but it necessarily leads to fresh light and life.
And this suffering sense guides us even more to God, because we know that all the human methods we have tried before have not worked. They do not bring us release, understanding, or true and lasting joy. The drowning man can’t reason himself out of the waves or call upon his friends to help him. He must reach out to something greater, something spiritual, something full of life-saving, restoring Love.
And this is where the Christ comes in. Our recognition that we do indeed want to live– to really live in a way that defies the mortal concept of merely settling for a form of life– opens our minds and hearts to salvation. That Truth is ready to lift us out of the waves, not through human effort, but by the divine demand of God, Love. And so our suffering is lost and forgotten for we not only survived the daunting waves, we have been reborn to freedom, limitless opportunity, and a true sense of Love and its tender power.
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