Most of us proceed through life feeling more or less vulnerable to age, accident, and disease. At times we may feel subject to the wrong actions of another or susceptible to an uprising of sin in ourselves. But do we really have to live this way?
A statement by Christ Jesus points to how one can destroy the feeling of vulnerability: ''O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!'' n1
n1 Matthew 23:37.
The baby chick is not vulnerable when it takes its rightful place underneath the protecting wing of the mother hen. Similarly, as children of God, our loving Father-Mother, we are completely safe when we take our rightful place underneath His protecting wing.
God, omnipresent Spirit, does not leave His creation open to age, accident, disease, or sinfulness. He would not make man vulnerable to evil any more than the mother hen would lead her baby chicks to a fox's den and then desert them. God's care for man is tender, constant, motherly. Our work is to prove this spiritual truth by turning to our creator for every need. The Psalmist rejoiced: ''He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day.'' n2
n2 Psalms 91:4, 5.
The carnal mind wholly resists the fact of God's care. It would invert the truth by claiming that trusting in God is a vulnerable position. Evil always seeks to make good appear to be evil. As Jesus pointed out, the prophets who were sent to call the people to come under God's wing were often accused of being evil. They were treated as rebels and outcasts, even murdered by stoning.
But Jesus, through courageous meekness, showed us that consciously abiding with God, under ''his feathers,'' leads one to victory, not defeat. As Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes: ''There is divine authority for believing in the superiority of spiritual power over material resistance.'' n3
n3 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 134.
The appearance of vulnerability that may come from standing with spiritual means is always a temporary perception. Placing our entire being under God's care - not the precarious care of personal ingenuity, physical strength, or matter-based methods - we are fully protected.
The sense of being under His wings was never more evident to me than when I was hiking in a steep ravine. A small boulder, perhaps three feet in diameter, had become dislodged and was bounding downhill in my direction.
During this hike I had been pondering these words from a hymn by Mrs. Eddy:
Shepherd, show me how to go O'er the hillside steep, How to gather, how to sow, - How to feed Thy sheep; I will listen for Thy voice, Lest my footsteps stray . . . . n4
n4 Christian Science Hymnal, No. 304.
Also, I remember striving to glimpse the fact that there is only one intelligent God, and that I was constantly moved by divine intelligence.
As the boulder came closer, I felt divinely impelled to stand still. About twenty-five yards uphill the boulder took a large kangaroo bounce and landed perhaps ten feet in front of me. It landed directly onto a large pointed rock and shattered into several pieces. All of the pieces sailed around me except for one that gashed my hand. The gash was quickly healed in two days. The prayerful communing with God I had been doing prior to this incident was literally my ''shield and buckler.''
God's care for us is not a matter of chance. It is an unfailing law. Whenever we find ourselves confronted by thoughts or pictures of vulnerability, we can take our rightful place underneath His all-protecting love. DAILY BIBLE VERSE The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer. II Samuel 22:2