After Jesus had been crucified and resurrected, but before his ascension, several of his disciples went fishing but caught nothing during an entire night. When morning came, a man called to them from the shore, asking if they had caught any fish. They answered no. Then the man said, ''Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find.'' n1 When they did this, their net was quickly filled with dozens of fish.
n1 John 21:6.
One of the disciples, the Bible indicates, looked past the evidence of abundance to the Christ-power behind it. While they were endeavoring to bring the net up into the ship, this disciple said to Peter, ''It is the Lord.'' n2
n2 John 21:7.
This insight immediately altered Peter's focus. He lost his preoccupation with nets and fish, dived into the sea, and swam toward his risen Master. The presence of Jesus provided unmistakable proof of a profound law - that God, divine Life, defeats death, Love conquers hate, and good overpowers evil.
What had caused this sudden abundance of fish, when only moments before there had been emptiness? Was it a change of tide? A change of physical location? Or a change of time? No. Wasn't it rather a change of thinking? The Master brought the consciousness of God's unlimited provision to the disciples' thoughts of physical limitation and chance. The consciousness of God's always present, ever-providing love, as held by Jesus, transformed emptiness to fullness. The understanding that God is actually the one and only cause radically changed the human scene.
Can this kind of transformation be experienced today? The Christ-power, which Jesus fully demonstrated to all his followers, is not a historic relic; it is active and available today. At this very moment we have the opportunity to think , in some measure, the way Jesus did, and to reflect the healing power of the eternal Christ, Truth. ''Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus ,'' n3 St. Paul urged the early Christians.
n3 Philippians 2:5.
We can do this by accepting God as the one Father, who generously sustains each of His children. We can do it by turning over and over again to God as the one creator, the unfailing guide, the perfect provider, and by realizing that man's true selfhood is God's spiritual likeness, not a deprived mortal. We can learn to be less preoccupied with effects - empty nets or full nets - and turn consistently to the one great cause. This Christly state of thought recognizes the impossibility that real lack could exist within the omnipresence of God's love.
At one time my wife and I determined that it would be useful for us to make a long trip in connection with our business. As Christian Scientists we had both prayed diligently to God for guidance, and we felt sure the trip was an appropriate step. However, when we considered our financial situation, our ''nets,'' there seemed to be good reasons not to take the trip.
After further prayer we proceeded with plans. We knew that we couldn't be penalized for following our highest sense of God's guidance, and that His love would show us the way.
The Christian Science textbook, written by Mary Baker Eddy, n4 had taught us that ''divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need.'' Mrs. Eddy continues, ''It is not well to imagine that Jesus demonstrated the divine power to heal only for a select number or for a limited period of time, since to all mankind and in every hour, divine Love supplies all good.'' n5
n4 The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.
n5 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 494.
Our nets were filled in a manner that clearly showed us God's abundant, pertinent care. One week before the trip a check arrived for work I had done some fourteen months earlier. I had completely forgotten about this work and was not expecting to be paid for it. This amounted to one half of our anticipated expenses.
A second unexpected check arrived one day before we were to leave on our journey. It was for three times the amount I was owed. Added to the first check, this gave us a total of ten dollars more than our anticipated expenses.
When I shared this news with my wife, we rejoiced together, looking past the physical evidence of supply to the divine cause behind it. Our trip was truly enjoyable and productive in every respect. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. James 1:17