At a time of both personal and national challenges, the prophet Jeremiah wrote, ''The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.''n1
n1 Jeremiah 31:3
The term ''love'' not only describes a quality of God but indicates His very nature and being. For the Scriptures tell us that God is Love itself - Love that knows no lapses; no holes of nonexistence; no moments of vacuity. God, Love, cannot be turned off and on like a light switch. Nor does divine Love simply get us from point A to point B with all sorts of trials in between.
Unrestricted Love, God, made and maintains all. From this standpoint, can there be any room for evil; for an opposite to God? The guidance and care of Love are all-pervasive, ever present. As the image and likeness of Love, man never stops being blessed. The realization of our inseparability from Love gives us an increasing sense of dominion over evil and its pretense to reality. We see that it is not our purpose to simply weather the storms of human life, to endure onslaughts of trouble.
Love never stops being Love! For example, was the infinite love of God expressed solely when the children of Israel returned to the Holy Land after their long stay in Egypt? Wasn't His love an ongoing, ever-unfolding presence evidenced in the good they experienced in their forty year trek in the wilderness? And in the case of the Hebrew captives, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who refused to worship the idol of an oppressive king, God's love and care were clearly evident in the protection they experienced while in the furnace prepared for their execution.
We need not melt under adversity. Rather, we can view it as merely a denial of the omnipresence and omniactivity of Love and of man's unity with his Maker. But overcoming adversity demands a mighty disciplining of thought. We need to understand Love's supremacy; strive to more consistently be conscious of the evidence of Love's presence in our lives and to value and magnify good wherever and whenever it may be expressed. Good is never insignificant. Rather, it is the nature of God revealing itself to us in a manner that we can both comprehend and appreciate.
The aid and affection of a friend in a time of urgent need; the beauty of nature; the warmth of the sun -- such expressions of good can be helpful ingredients in lifting a feeling of impending gloom or doom. Couldn't these, and countless other examples, be pointing to the real lesson of each challenge in life -- the need to drop a worldly, dreary outlook and actively claim the preservative and healing power of omnipresent Love?
Certainly Christ Jesus consistently took this view. He not only taught that God was uncompromising Love; he showed that Love must be both felt and lived in a progressive overcoming of evil.
The Way-shower didn't tolerate sin, sickness, or even death. He exercised his God-given dominion over them. Because the quality and substance of his life were undying love, it was impossible for either his identity or teachings to end with the crucifixion. That ordeal was met through Jesus' understanding of the sustaining and healing power of Love. This understanding led him safely on to the resurrection and ascension -- to practical dominion over death itself.
What a lesson for us all!
''Remember,'' writes Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, ''thou canst be brought into no condition, be it ever so severe, where Love has not been before thee and where its tender lesson is not awaiting thee.''n2
n2 The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, pp. 149-150.
Learning each ''tender lesson'' is one of the most important things we can do. To tenaciously acknowledge and magnify the ever-presence of God, good, and to realize that Love and its infinite manifestation can never be pushed aside or undone by material conditions - this leads to increasing victory over evil. The same power that sustains us in adversity brings us to complete healing, to the demonstration of our uninterrupted unity with divine love. DAILY BIBLE VERSE The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save. Zephaniah 3:17