Are you a leaner?
FOR many years I leaned on others -- my parents, relatives, and friends. Then the time came suddenly when it was necessary for me to support myself, my husband, and our small daughter. I was absolutely terrified by this responsibility. Totally unprepared for work in the business world, I turned to God in prayer.The first direction I received was to call a Christian Science practitioner for help. At first this seemed like more leaning, but I knew I needed increased spiritual understanding in order to meet this challenge, because I felt completely overwhelmed. I'll never forget the practitioner's compassionate support through prayer and her patient understanding of my fears. At first, progress seemed slow. I was told time and again at interviews that I was either overeducated or underexperienced for the job. Yet the practitioner encouraged me to realize that there was a niche for me in God's universe and that I was capable of filling it, since God would not withhold His love and intelligence from His own child. As I continued to pray, I saw more clearly that an appropriate position for me would appear and that nothing could prevent this.
Finally, just the right position did open up in an unexpected way -- a position that enabled me to support the family quite adequately. In fact, the salary was considerably above what I had thought I would be able to earn. I continued in this work for eight years, and after that other positions opened up as needed. Through learning to trust God more, to lean on Him rather than simply to presume on other people's kindness, I gained spiritual strength and a measure of independence. What a joy, after years of feeling totally inadequate to ``fend for myself.''
``To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, to-day is big with blessings.''1 This statement by Mary Baker Eddy,2 which opens the Preface of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, the Christian Science textbook, has been a great help to me, as it has to many others. It's comforting to understand that we can lean on that which is infinite, on that which is always present and endless! As we open our hearts to this fact and live in accord with God's laws, striving in every thought and action to worship the one God and to follow Christ Jesus' example in our love for others, we will better recognize God's blessings and benefit from them.
``Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding,''3 the Bible tells us. This wholehearted trust in God's eternal goodness drives out uncertainty and the tendency to rely only on one's own, sometimes faulty, judgment or on the opinions of others. As we learn more of God's goodness and allness, we come to trust His love for all His creation and are less troubled by the uncertainties of material existence, with its mixture of good and evil and its unpleasant surprises.
This is not to ignore our own or anyone else's troubles but rather to see more clearly their solution. It's to begin to perceive that all true substance is spiritual and unending, the product of God, and that our true selfhood in His image is not subject to chance or deprivation. The material sense of substance is fleeting, but that which is spiritual is forever.
You can always recognize the purely spiritual because it does not depend on person, place, or thing. God is Spirit, and man, made in His likeness, is in reality spiritual. As we realize more clearly our own true nature, we gain increasing dominion over limited viewpoints and stubborn circumstances.
Only that which is pure and perfect, that which characterizes God, really belongs to His creation, man. Turning more and more to God as the only true Mind and source of well-being, we lean less and less on a limited, human sense of things. We are then receptive to the understanding and support always emanating from the one infinite Mind.
An enduring spiritual strength comes to us when this leaning on God replaces leaning on the human. As a hymn expresses it: 'Tis what I know of Thee, my Lord
That fills my soul with peace, my
lips with song; Thou art my health, my joy, my staff,
I lean on Thee, in weakness I am
Are you inclined to be a leaner? You can start at once to be a spiritual leaner, leaning on God, Spirit. His love will never fail you.
1Science and Health, p. vii. 2The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. 3Proverbs 3:5. 4Christian Science Hymnal, No. 195. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid. Isaiah 12:2