Throughout the world there are areas set aside as wildlife sanctuaries, protected by law. Hearing today of many dangers from which the world's children need to be protected, we might wonder if a refuge can be found for them.
Certainly, confining children within prescribed areas or keeping them forever under a watchful human eye is not practical or possible. But there is a universal refuge in which all children can dwell safely -- the refuge of God's love.
"The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms," n1 the Bible tells us. We can prove that God loves and protects our children every moment. God is all-seeing Love. There is no outside to Love's presence, no limit to Love's power. We can think of Love as infinite Mind, whose wisdom unfailingly guards and guides His offspring.
n1 Deuteronomy 33:27.
Parents protect their children through giving wise counsel and establishing rules to be obeyed. In addition, however, they can offer the deeply effective protection of spiritual education. Mary Baker Eddy n2 recommends, "Parents should teach their children at the earliest possible period the truths of health and holiness." n3
n2 Mrs. Eddy is the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science;
n3 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,m p. 236.
These truths are the guardian angels that keep our children safe, even when we cannot be with them. One meaning of a refuge is a stronghold that protects by its strength. The consciousness of God is such a stronghold. This phrase implies not only God's consciousness, or understanding, of Him.
Christ Jesus illustrated better than any other individual the tangible protection spiritual consciousness can provide. His understanding of God's omnipotence and man's ability to reflect divine power sustained him during times of both temptation and threat. He knew that man made in the image of Spirit is as perfect as the Father -- incorruptible and indestructible.
Far from being naive or disregarding human life, Jesus clearly discerned evil intent and taught his students how to defend themselves from it through God-based purity and love. When sending out seventy disciples to preach, he said, "Behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves." n4 He went on to give them practical advice on how to conduct themselves -- including whom to associate with and whom to avoid.
n4 Luke 10:3.
Upon their safe return he told them, "Behold, I give unto you power . . . over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you." n5
n5 v. 19.
Jesus' confidence in God's preserving power was not based on blind faith; he had had countless proofs in his own life of the superiority of good or evil. All can gain such proof through prayer based on the spiritual laws found in his teachings and throughout the Bible.
Speaking of Jesus, Mrs. Eddy writes: "The 'man of sorrows' best understood the nothingness of material life and intelligence and the mighty actuality of all-inclusive God, good. These were the two cardinal points of Mind-healing, or Christian Science, which armed him with Love." n6
Science and Health,m p. 52.
We, too, can arm ourselves and our children with spiritual understanding. As a man's freedom is defended in a court of law by proving him innocent of false charges, so we can defend a child's freedom from danger by prayerfully establishing each day his purity and invincibility as the image of God.
To understand how and why all of us can rely on God for protection, and to teach this to children, is to find a most practical and ever-present refuge. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Safety is of the Lord. Proverbs 21:31