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INTERFAITH VOICES

Interfaith Voices: On the divine healing power of God, Jesus

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Karla Hackney

"My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him." (Psalm 62:5) Expectation is reasoning that a future occurrence will be possible. So often, we look to the past to assess our possibilities. Does expectation though, have to be constrained by history or empirical evidence? What happens if expectation opens to include faith in the divine? Noah built an ark, Moses parted the sea, Jesus raised Lazarus from the tomb. And what do those distant miracles actually have to do with our lives today?

The answer that is coming up in my own spiritual journey is "more than we might have imagined." I'm not saying that we will be suddenly parting or walking on the sea, but I am humbly grateful to be discovering God’s fresh, loving and marvelously inspired solutions to all kinds of challenges in everyday life. For me, spiritual expectancy involves turning away from traditional limited thinking to better see what is spiritually possible. It’s rethinking my belief in the “impossible.” This divine expectancy brings hope in the face of despair and encourages stamina when challenges seem insurmountable.

Jesus provided beautiful examples of solutions in the face of the “impossible.” For instance, when supplying food for the multitudes, his expectations faithfully lay in that deep love of God’s potency which overwhelmed the pesky empirical evidence that recorded only five loaves and two fishes to feed 5,000 plus (Matthew 14:15-21). Jesus perceived God's abundance where his disciples focused on scarcity.

Jesus’ disciples Peter and John (Acts 3:1-11) later showed the effect of this expectancy of God’s love and power. When confronted by a lame man begging for money, they turned in prayer to God, and the man was healed. The crippled man’s expectation had been for a coin, but the disciples' thoughts had shifted dramatically since they had witnessed the feeding of the masses. They learned that the expectancy of God’s love can be demonstrated, leaving the lame man “walking, and leaping, and praising God.” (Acts 3:8)

The founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, came to believe that the divine healing power that Jesus and his followers practiced is possible now. She understood that such demonstrations were pivotal in lifting expectations toward a more divine solution. In addition to founding a church, she established weekly and monthly periodicals where verified testimonials of healings share the practical impact in testifiers’ lives of the healing power of a deep conviction in God’s infinite goodness. Several dozen of these testimonies have been published already this year.

One might construe these results as mind over matter, or willpower, but remember the psalmist said “wait thou only upon God.” It’s a matter of replacing the influence of the human mind with a state of expectancy that is grounded in an ever-deepening understanding of who God is and what God does. Christian Science emphasizes loving our neighbors, the need for redemption from evil and sin, and seeking God’s transforming power to restore health and holiness.

As we seek that holiness, the inspired word of God reveals to present-day consciousness that same power that built the ark, parted the seas, and raised Lazarus. To increasingly rely on God's word is a wonderful hopeful practice that takes deep faith and a growing understanding that God’s goodness simply cannot be contained. And in many unexpected ways, it provides brilliant solutions to “the impossible” and results in far more than we might have imagined.

"And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear …” (Isaiah 65: 24).

Karla Hackney is a member of the Christian Science Committee on Publication for Oregon. She is an alum of Oregon State and works closely with First Church of Christ, Scientist, Albany.

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