Counting Our Blessings   Leave a comment

When I was growing up, the Thanksgiving Day service in the Church of Christ, Scientist, our family attended was the one we never missed. It wasn’t uncommon for that service to be a very moving occasion, and it still isn’t, as many who come give thanks aloud for their blessings, such as finding a home or job, experiencing a physical healing through prayer, or having good friends and neighbors. There are also testimonies about changes of heart and character—such as overcoming fears or anger, or making efforts to be more patient, honest, or wise—that have meant even more.

I’ve also heard testimonies from some who faced especially tough challenges, such as the sudden loss of a loved one, bankruptcy, crime, moral failings, severe illness. The gratitude from these speakers has seemed deepest of all—not for the losses or suffering, but because those hardships compelled serious searching for answers in heartfelt prayer and humble listening to God for direction and hope. You could tell this search for meaning and comfort was more important than anything else. So their gratitude went straight to God for God and for the love and goodness that are the very nature of ever-present divine Life and Spirit.

We’re living in a time when so many people are facing the most difficult situations they ever have, when sorrow has seemed to be everywhere and gratitude appears unreasonable. And yet this has also been a year of the most extraordinary courage and unselfishness, amazing generosity and love, strangers saving the lives of strangers, opera singers serenading quarantined neighbors, the Eiffel Tower doing a nightly light show thanking first responders, and school teachers and parents discovering new creativity and endurance in helping children.

When the chips have been down—very, very down—so many have intuitively looked up, risen higher, fought against oppressors such as disease, fear, self-centeredness, and hate by resorting to goodness and courage, grace and kindness, and turning heavenward. Where do these impulses come from? They come from realizing in some measure that we’re not the earthbound mortals we’ve assumed. We are, in fact, spiritual—made from Love and made to love by God, immortal Life. We are grander and holier and more like God than we’ve imagined or been taught by the world. The evidence of this, though not necessarily universal, has still been unmistakable. 

Knowing our need of God is a blessing, and brings a restoration of hope, as well as answers.

When circumstances turn us to the Divine, even as a last resort, we begin to discover that the deific Mind, the one Spirit, perfect Love, can do all things for us. The more we realize that we are able—not of ourselves but through divine Love—to solve our problems, see the way forward, and meet our needs, the more we know our need of God. This is a blessing, because we will find there a restoration of hope, as well as our answers. …

Click here to read the full text of this article, Counting Our Blessings, by Ethel A. Baker which is published in the November 23, 2020 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel.

Posted November 22, 2020 by cscanberra in Christ-ideas, Christian Science, Gratitude

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