WHILE taking a walk one day, I thought about the richness of my life with my family in a good home, enriched by friends and opportunities to share. Yet not long before, it had all been so different! After many years, my first husband had left our home and marriage. Difficulties in the marriage had persisted for a long time. Yet because I cherished the marriage covenant I had prayed earnestly during those years for the restoration of mutual caring and fidelity to the vows we had made.
As I prayed, I came to trust the Biblical teaching that ``thy Maker is thine husband.''1 I learned to identify and appreciate every evidence of God's tender care. I treasured experiences that helped me feel worthy and loved. I was grateful for a neighbor's assistance, for example, with a job that I couldn't accomplish alone. God led me beautifully during those years; His care for me did not fail. What I was learning about God's presence illumined my day-to-day life, enabling me to see how my needs, both emotional and practical, were being met.
I didn't feel the impact of my husband's desertion as deeply as I might have without an understanding of God. Yes, I had longed for the marriage to be healed, but I had already learned enough of God's steadfast love to know that His care for me would continue.
And indeed it did, both while I was on my own and later when I married again! And as I walked along that day, I felt I had glimpsed something of eternity. I realized at that moment that instead of a long history of struggle I had a deep, unshakable conviction of God's steadfast presence. The substance of those years wasn't in the wrestlings with disappointment, bitterness, deprivation, self-doubt. Rather, it was what I had learned about God and about man as His cherished, spiritual offspring.
In spite of human hardship and passing joys, I had learned that what is good and precious could -- and does -- remain. The proof that what I cherished most can survive time wasn't in the difficulties I had experienced, but in an understanding of God's presence. I had glimpsed something of what Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, means when she writes, ``One moment of divine consciousness, or the spiritual understanding of Life and Love, is a foretaste of eternity.''2
In the Bible, a day is described as an evening and a morning. With each emergence from darkness into light, some aspect of God and His creation becomes visible. All of His creation has existed in Him through eternity, forever unfolding in infinite variety. But we see this spiritual development only by degrees, as we emerge from the materialism of mistaken perceptions to the spiritual facts of the universe created by God, Spirit.
God's presence had always been a fact of my life. Through prayer and study of the Scriptures, I emerged from doubt and fear to recognize and trust in that eternal fact. So substantial was God's care, in fact, that all that was left in my heart was the immediacy of God's, good's, eternal presence.
It is sometimes a challenge to persist in trusting God's care: life still can seem like a procession of yesterdays, todays, and tomorrows. Yet that glimpse of eternity keeps assuring me that all that is really substantial in life is of God, good, and therefore is a fact of man's true, spiritual being right now. We may need to pray mighty hard to see that good, to feel and trust its ever-presence. But one glimpse is a powerful foretaste, heartening us to continue our prayer and to trust that the struggle will give way to the radiant immediacy of eternal good.
1Isaiah 54:5. 2Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 598.