The Frozen River
A legend read in Mrs. Eddy’s home many times at her request.
Once a river flowed free and easy over its rocky bed, but one night the temperature of the water dropped a dozen degrees or so, and continued to drop all the next day. By night, a thick coating of ice had formed under which the river flowed.
Accepting the best of it, the river flowed under the ice; but that night the coat thickened, crowding the activities of the river further down the stream. This went on until the river was a frozen mass. “O, dear,” said the river as it tried to move and could not, “Will it ever be possible that I can be free again and move? Will that day ever come?”
A south wind passed by and said, “If the sun would shine on you, it would help you.” The next day the sun did shine on the river, and the river was glad and full of expectations. “Now I shall be free.” But after shining all day, nothing happened; and that evening the river was very despondent. The sun, with more persistence than the river, came again and shone all day, week after week; but still with no obvious improvement. The river became discouraged and almost knew it would never flow again, never be free again.
The cheerful sun kept shining more brightly than ever, and one day the river felt a little loosening; but that night it became solid once again, and the river lost hope. But the sun came again the next day and loosened it again; that night it froze stiff. “How terrible,” said the river. “Every little bit I gain, I lose immediately.” But the faithful sun kept shining. At last, when it seemed all chances of relief were over, the ice broke up into great chunks which floated away so swiftly that the river was thrilled and grateful beyond belief! How easily it had departed! The river was free once more!
So it is with the obstinate case. The first day’s treatment may not melt the ice, nor the second, nor the third, and at night (in doubt or anxiety) it may freeze up again. But when faithfully followed and when the sunlight of Love and Truth is untiringly applied, the change does take place.
Judge not from appearances. It was neither the first day’s sun, nor the last that melted the ice. It took both, and all the days in between, to overcome the condition that had been growing and intensifying for months or maybe even years.
It took seven times around the walls of Jericho to reduce those walls to dust, and who shall say which was the most effective trip, the first or last? Spiritually, man is already free; and if he can get this established firmly in his mind and hold to it, regardless of the appearance, the demonstration is made. Never give in to discouragement, my friend. Keep persisting as cheerfully as the sun, and your victory is assured!