_This year is all about W.O.W. (Walking on water) in the New Year. Carrie had it right yesterday when she wrote, "This is so exciting. I have been cooped up in limitation too long. I want to stop judging ... how long a task will take, how much it will cost to do it or to get it done ... What you're saying here is to step out in faith, but what is new for me is the sense of glorious expectation ... of possibility."
This year my New Year's resolution is a little different than in past years. No more thinking small. Sure, I would like to eat better, move more, and drop off unecessary habits that waste my time. But rather than focus on the minnows of limitation nipping at my toes, I would like to go after the big fish of fear that would tell me I can't get out of the boat and express my unlimited potential for good. And I think I can do this in four steps.
_ Step 3 - Take the stretched out hand and walk.
It's exciting to embrace new views of God (Step 1) and to let the Christ mobilize you to move and express the unlimited possibilities of good (Step 2). This is what it means to W.O.W.
Peter did. He walked on water. Why can't we? Why have a small expectation of good?!
When Peter stepped out of the boat, his fisherman's perspective on the prospects of success at water-walking tried to sink him, but Peter overcame the resistance with a helping hand.
Today's Step 3 is all about finding stability as we take each forward step.
Peter had baggage. Jesus showed him the possibilities of freedom from material limitations, but Peter's past experiences argued that waterwalking wasn't wise. He stepped out in faith, but his faith was hobbled somewhat by fear. Until the hand, that is. Matthew's gospel tells us, "But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?" (14:30)
According to Newton's 3rd law of motion, "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction." This reaction is sometimes referred to as "resistance". To Peter, resistance to walking on water was a normal, inevitable, unavoidable phenomenon. As a fisherman, he had seen winds and waves like this before. He was afraid of a material law of motion that declared walking on water to be a risky business.
_Mary Baker Eddy explained, "Jesus... raised Lazarus from the dead, stilled the tempest, healed the sick, walked on the water. There is divine authority for believing in the superiority of spiritual power over material resistance. A miracle fulfils God's law, but does not violate that law. This fact at present seems more mysterious than the miracle itself. The Psalmist sang: "What ailed thee, O thou sea, that thou fleddest? Thou Jordan, that thou wast driven back? Ye mountains, that ye skipped like rams, and ye little hills, like lambs? Tremble, thou earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob." The miracle introduces no disorder, but unfolds the primal order, establishing the Science of God's unchangeable law." (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, pp. 134-135)
_Fear is simply material resistance to normal progressive spiritual phenomenon. Fear is material, not spiritual, and it has no spiritual basis or real law to support it.
What saved Peter from fear was the "stretched forth hand" of Jesus. This wasn't his personal hand, but rather the same hand that was holding up Jesus. The possessive adjective "his" in the phrase "Jesus stretched forth his hand" is in italics in the King James Bible, indicating that the word was added in by translators to make sense of the passage.
The hand that caught Peter was the stretched forth hand of divine Principle, God - the spiritual Law that allowed Jesus to prove material resistance to be nothing more than a mental suggestion, and nothing to either fear or accept.
In fact, Jesus reminded Peter that his little faith - the same faith that got him to step out of the boat onto the water - was enough to stabilize his walk. "O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?" he asked. I don't think Jesus was knocking a small faith. To me, he was saying, "Don't you realize what you have?" Jesus knew that a tiny mustard-seed faith could move mountains. It could certainly move off fear when that faith was planted in God.
__By rooting our faith in the everpresent God-power to accomplish all things, instead of personal power or will, we can discover that nothing is impossible to us.
Mary Baker Eddy said, "Had Blondin believed it impossible to walk the rope over Niagara's abyss of waters, he could never have done it. His belief that he could do it gave his thought‐ forces, called muscles, their flexibility and power which the unscientific might attribute to a lubricating oil. His fear must have disappeared before his power of putting resolve into action could appear." (Science and Health, p. 199)
So here is my sum-up of step 3 -
_Did you enjoy this post? Did you find it helpful?
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I have practiced Christian Science professionally in
some form since 1979.
But my journey with
Christian Science started
in a Sunday school
where as a young child
I was taught the Scriptures and some simple basics
of Jesus' method of
scientific Christian healing.
A significant experience
at the age of twelve
opened my eyes to
the great potential
of this practice.
After impaling my foot
on a nail,
I prayed the way I had learned
in Sunday school.
the pain stopped
and healing began.
By the next morning the wound had disappeared completely.
the great potential
of Christian Science,
there would be no