Safety in the shadow
IMAGERY abounds in the Scriptures. One powerful example can be found in the ninety-first Psalm: ``He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.''1 God, Spirit, casts no material shadow. But the implication is clear. We are utterly safe in His presence, under His protection, when we dwell ``in the secret place of the most High.''
But how do we get there? Many long for a safe, secure place. Yet this safety often seems remote, unattainable in the face of human events. Individuals and the world as a whole face some big challenges. Yet simply talking or worrying about them doesn't heal; it only exacerbates their severity. Reasoning from the standpoint of what our eyes and ears report is often faulty and doesn't enable us to bear witness to the power of God, which corrects and heals.
Many individuals down through the ages have turned to spiritual sense, through prayer to God, to feel His presence and to find healing. Just as divine Spirit cannot cast a physical shadow, so ``the secret place'' mentioned in the ninety-first Psalm isn't a geographical location. It is a pure, Godlike state of thought that can be entertained wherever we are to calm and comfort us and to benefit those we have contact with. It is the consciousness of God, good, that can be felt in prayer and cultivated through following Christ Jesus' example in thought and life.
Jesus, the Prince of Peace, demonstrated the power inherent in spiritual-mindedness. He founded his healing and regenerative work on the basis that there is one infinite God, who made man in His likeness and who cares for His creation. The way of proving this teaching is indicated in Jesus' statement ``No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.''2
In a work called Unity of Good, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes: ``You cannot simultaneously serve the mammon of materiality and the God of spirituality. There are not two realities of being, two opposite states of existence.''3
In order to serve God alone, it's important that we have an understanding of His nature. Mrs. Eddy defines God as ``the great I am; the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-acting, all-wise, all-loving, and eternal; Principle; Mind; Soul; Spirit; Life; Truth; Love; all substance; intelligence.''4 This Biblically derived concept of Deity is basic to the healing work done in Christian Science. The allness of God and His infinite power, affirmed and perceived in prayer, act to destroy the evidence of disease and of other ills, evidence that would appear to contradict the truth of His supremacy. Even a glimpse of God's allness can bring more peace to our lives.
Clearly, the work of total spiritual regeneration isn't accomplished overnight or through one prayer, no matter how sincere. There is much re-viewing and re-thinking to be done in relation to every aspect of our lives. But what makes these changes possible is that ``the secret place'' is, in fact, the only place. God's ever-presence guarantees it, though we need to prove it through prayer and purification of thought and deed. There is safety under the shadow of His almighty love, because no material force or condition, however convincing to physical sense, can ever constitute a threat to God.
Taking time for quiet, unhurried prayer to God, feeling and knowing ourselves to be His offspring, under His care, may seem to many a near impossibility. But it is the wisest investment we can make. There are no denominational restrictions to such prayer. A deep love for God, persistence, and an honest desire for lasting improvement are key factors to success. Don't give up. It's so comforting to find oneself tucked ``under the shadow of the Almighty.'' Here we find safety and healing.
1Psalms 91:1. 2Matthew 6:24. 3Unity of Good, p. 49. 4Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 587. DAILY BIBLE VERSE In the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge . . . Psalms 57:1