by Charles Van Barneveld
As we understand Christian Science, many words that we have taken for granted, take on a new meaning. This is so true of the word “gratitude.”
I had been very sick for a long time, and was asking myself, “Why wasn’t I being healed more quickly? Why was this problem continuing to persist?”
One day while reading Science and Health, a statement hit me with great force: “Are we really grateful for the good already received? Then we shall avail ourselves of the blessings we have, and thus be fitted to receive more. Gratitude is much more than a verbal expression of thanks. Action expresses more gratitude than speech.”
Was this the trouble? Was I ungrateful? As I prayed about it sincerely, I realized, yes, I was ungrateful and impatient.
I knew that my practitioner had often lovingly tried to impress upon me that gratitude was the key to progress. But being deeply wrapped up in my own problems, I even felt a mild resentment toward the practitioner, thinking I should be receiving more sympathy, and not appreciating the fact that she was expressing the highest sympathy to me, the compassion that heals.
I didn’t then understand that the mental turmoil I was going through so resentfully, was the beginning of the healing, the proof that something far more than a physical healing was being accomplished. As I began to learn the importance of humility, obedience, and especially gratitude, I was entirely healed.
The spirit of gratitude is waiting to be developed in every one of us, but it needs to be cultivated and lived. From my own experience I know that when the ungrateful heart realizes how much it has to be grateful for, then comes the “peace of God, which passeth all understanding,” and the healing of whatever has been wrong.