Call a friend who's eagerly waiting to hear from you, and the response is probably quick. He gets to the phone on the first ring. Even more immediate is God's response when we turn to Him. There's no delay, no temporary withholding of help in order to teach us something. God is instantly at hand.
With beautiful simplicity the prophet records God as saying, ''Before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.'' n1 Think of it! Whether it's a call for help, for greater insight into some problem, for comfort, God is right there with a quick and healing response. And the reason it's quick has to do with His being ever present. The message of help or comfort or understanding doesn't have to travel a distance. And the reason it's healing has to do with God's nature as the source of all good, as divine Love, infinite Mind, who cares tenderly for you and me as His beloved offspring.
n1 Isaiah 65:24.
What a relief to know that God is always near! It's easy to think of an idea - a mathematical concept, for example - as present wherever we go. Yet divine Mind, the source of all right ideas, is present as well. The warm and healing presence of divine Love is always with us. You wouldn't expect your love for your child or your husband or wife or parent to have to warm up in the morning, along with the toast. Love's warmth and healing power are immediately and ever at hand.
Perhaps more than anyone else, Christ Jesus had a keen sense, not just of God's closeness but of His ever-availability and of man's eternal unity with God. The Master's healing of his good friend Lazarus, who had been dead for four days, illustrates this. Jesus prayed: ''Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it.'' n2 And then he called forth Lazarus from the grave. Evidently, Jesus knew without a doubt that all of the healing, restorative, regenerative power of God was right at hand and in operation at that very moment. And he must have clearly understood the indestructible nature of man's true being as the likeness of God. While such a healing is certainly extraordinary, the divine power Jesus was drawing on is just as available today. It's still as potent, and we can understandingly call on God and realize His presence and power.
n2 John 11:41, 42.
But how does God hear us and know of our needs? Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, writes: ''The 'divine ear' is not an auditory nerve. It is the all-hearing and all-knowing Mind, to whom each need of man is always known and by whom it will be supplied.'' n3
n3 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p.7
The Mind, the Love, which is God, doesn't come to our aid and rescue us because of our continuous pleading. It's God's very nature to be at hand and maintain the well-being of His creation. It's our job to turn to Him and prayerfully acknowledge His ever-present, ever-caring nature. This helps to quiet any fearful or worrisome thinking that may be intruding. And in the quietness of prayer His message of comfort and help and understanding breaks through, providing the very guidance we need, the very instant we need it. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me . . . . I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well . . . . How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! Psalms 139:7-10, 14, 17