TWO men walked down an almost deserted street in West Beirut late one evening. They had been sent to Lebanon by a company under contract to the government there. As they walked along they became aware of a car keeping pace with them and of those within the car, who were watching them intently. When the two men slowed down, the car slowed down too. When they went faster, so did the car. It was the time when the first of many from Western nations were being abducted by terrorist groups, and fear gripped the men. One of them was a Christian Scientist, and he prayed earnestly to overcome the fear. It appeared that the men in the car were assessing the situation, possibly trying to get them to panic and to take refuge in one of the many dark alleys nearby. There they would have been highly vulnerable to attack and capture.
As they continued walking and talking, the Christian Scientist began to assure himself and his friend that God was with them and that they could depend on Him entirely. He realized the ever-present availability of God's love for His children and saw that all, everywhere, are truly in the safety of His presence. Gradually as the two men walked on, their fear lessened. The car eventually speeded up and disappeared.
No matter what part of the world we walk in, we can experience the supporting power of God's presence. We too can turn to Him for help, refusing to be afraid. This may seem a major challenge in the face of evil's threats. And clearly, we need to be wise, not naive or foolhardy. But we can meet the challenge with divine help. God is infinite Spirit, always present to guide and care for each one. As we trustingly pray to God for guidance, we will feel His love; we'll discern His presence at every step. This is walking with God.
Is it really possible to overcome fear even under threat of physical attack? It is, as we come to understand the nature of God and His love for His children. It is, as we realize that He is ever present and almighty. The realization of God's allness can defuse the apparent power of evil, which is the counterfeit of good. Humanity may be a long way from realizing the full potential of divine power. But we can take steps forward individually as we're willing to stand firmly for God's absolute supremacy.
Fear is one of the accouterments of evil and needs to be seen as devoid of power, like evil itself. Evil never has any actual, God-derived power to harm or cause fear. This can be proved as we apply our understanding of God's infinite power to situations where evil appears to hold control. Just as strong sunlight falling onto an ice-covered sidewalk melts the ice and makes it safe to walk again, so the might of God, acknowledged and understood, dissolves the fear of evil, and its apparent power melts away.
The Bible tells us of many people who walked with God and were safe. Walking with God for them meant being conscious of His nearness and power. It meant turning to Him frequently in prayer and listening for His guidance. Doing this, their lives became free from fear. We too can walk with God and find this fearless freedom. The inspired Psalmist must surely have walked with God to be able to write, ``Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me.''1 Study of such Bible passages helps us to understand the nature of God. We learn of His tender care for His creation. We learn to trust Him more and more.
Christian Science, which is in accord with the Bible, including the words and works of Christ Jesus, further enhances our ability to understand God's supreme authority. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes of God, ``He who dwelleth in eternal light is bigger than the shadow, and will guard and guide His own.''2
Sometimes our work may take us to an area considered dangerous, or we may vacation in a country unfamiliar to us. Wherever we go, we walk with God. Regardless of circumstances, we can never truly be outside the presence of divine Love. With this reassurance comes a wonderful freedom and peace that cannot be shaken by the threat of violence.
1Psalms 23:4. 2Miscellaneous Writings, p. 134. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore. Psalms 121:8