WE had just moved north, and I was observing how barren things looked in the winter. Frankly I was feeling pretty barren myself because I hadn't yet established the work that had meant so much to me in our former location. I looked out the window one day as I prayed to feel God's presence. I knew I couldn't do this work without God's impelling it in me. I remembered well Christ Jesus' statement ``I can of mine own self do nothing.''1
No matter what the task at hand, if it is to be successfully accomplished, we must do it at God's bidding. In fact, it must be evidence of God's expressing His divine nature in us. An endeavor of strictly human impulsion can too easily fail or be misdirected.
Outside I saw a bush with some leaves just barely clinging to the branches. And beyond that were several trees completely stripped. Suddenly I noticed that there were dozens of buds on the bush -- in the middle of winter! Clearly, something was going on inside that bush that was not readily visible to the human eye, at least not until the buds made their appearance. The shorter, colder days of winter may discourage the blossoming of flower and leaf. Yet they encourage activity within a plant that is essential to that subsequent blossoming.
There may be times in human experience that look barren on the surface. Yet there can be much activity within. God never stops being God. And He never stops expressing His divine nature in His children, in the spiritual individuality of each of us. Sometimes we're unaware of this activity. I suspect, however, that even at those times, if we look more closely, we'll see some evidence, some little budlike thought, testifying to the activity within. But we'll have to look through spiritual rather than material sense.
At the time of his crucifixion, a material assessment of Christ Jesus' life said that it had culminated in death. Yet the tomb was an arena of incredible activity for Jesus. Hidden from human view, he was demonstrating for all mankind that true life is forever active, indestructible.
Through his resurrection the Way-shower proved that Life is God, the divine Principle that maintains the deathless identity of each of its spiritual offspring. This divine message of Life's eternality speaks to each one of us, impelling us beyond the belief of inactivity and its culmination, death.
But we cognize this reality through spiritual sense alone. Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, writes, ``Spiritual sense, contradicting the material senses, involves intuition, hope, faith, understanding, fruition, reality.''2 Where the material senses fail to see proof of God's, divine Life's, ever-presence, spiritual sense succeeds. My material senses couldn't detect what was going on inside a tree stripped of any signs of life. Yet one glimpse of the continued activity of life, as evidenced by the buds on the bush, gave me reason to believe that the life-activity of every bush and tree I saw continued as well.
Similarly, I could see the continuous activity of life in those around me, in my husband's new work, as well as in the lives of those we had the opportunity to meet in our new surroundings. And I saw that the divine Principle operating in the lives of others was operating in my life, too, because God is impartial in His provision of life and its ceaseless activity of love.
If you feel your life is barren at the moment, take heart. Spring will come as you patiently trust your spiritual sense, trust the ever-operative Principle of life -- trust God.
1John 5:30. 2Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 298.