by Kate Buck
One who is seeking freedom, and finds it delayed, is often tempted to question, why am I so long in being healed? I read and study faithfully, do everything required of me, “pray without ceasing,” yet conditions do not change. Others are quickly healed, without any apparent understanding or knowledge of Science, and seemingly without any effort on their part. This may be true; but the fact remains that each one must walk in his own pathway and learn the lessons to be gained therein.
My own healing in Christian Science was slow. The logic and theory of Christian Science was fairly clear to me within a month or two, but to trust it and make it practical took years. Looking back, I can see some reasons for delayed healing. In the first place, I believed absolutely in the reality and power of the error which I suffered. Then, too, I wanted to be healed above all else, and this is sometimes disastrous. I read the textbook with the thought in mind of being healed. I would read a powerful statement and think, “Maybe this will heal me.”
I would earnestly warn others against such practice. I thought practitioners were wasting their time when they talked so much about God, because I was not seeking a religion. I wished only to be free from suffering. Another hindrance was that I became desperately sorry for myself. Self-pity is like a poison. It seems some are quickly healed, but I was not one of these. I am deeply grateful for it all and for every step of the way, however rough it seemed.
It is absolutely necessary for some people to be driven to solitude, really to find and know themselves as children of Spirit; to become acquainted with a real self which they have never consciously met before.
This takes time, study, thought and consecration; a gradual laying aside of old beliefs and habits, a discarding of many faults, some that were once thought to be virtues; an overturning of false education, and a new kind of self-analysis from an entirely new basis.
At times one will say, “I don’t care how wearisome the way is, if I’m healed. But it seems as if I’m making no progress, despite the effort put forth.” This is never so for when freedom does come, one will be found farther along the road than he had ever dreamed he could be.
For the comfort of such wayfarers Mrs. Eddy writes, “If your endeavors are beset by fearful odds, and you receive no present reward, go not back to error, nor become a sluggard in the race. When the smoke of battle clears away, you will discern the good you have done, and receive according to your deserving. Love is not hasty to deliver us from temptation, for Love means that we shall be tried and purified.” (Science and Health, p. 22)
I know in my own experience it was not until one day I set the textbook down and said, “ Well, whether I am ever healed or not, I am certainly finding God as I never knew Him before.” Then better conditions began to be manifested. I turned to Christian Science with the thought of finding God. Then the suffering lessened and finally vanished. I thought less about the body and naturally it troubled me less.
Not unnaturally I always feel the deepest compassion toward those who seem slow in receiving their freedom, because I know the difficulties of hope deferred, but I must add that I also know much, very much of its triumphs.
Then let us persist; let us keep our confidence and faith in God, till the coming of that glad time when we can say, as did Paul, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course.”
More earnest seeking, striving, overcoming, day by day is still the one thing needful as we “press toward the mark;” but the pilgrim is not alone, for he has at last learned that our heavenly Father is with him every step of the way.