Fresh Views of God's Goodness

AFTER college I worked for someone who took considerable interest in my progress and helped me along in my profession. One day it occurred to me that he was expressing some of the same supportive, fatherly qualities I had been missing since the passing of my father. It was a touching recognition, and it gave me a glimpse of the enduring nature of God's provision for us. Since then I've had a number of experiences in which some cherished quality associated with the past has appeared in a new way in th e present. It may seem sometimes that good is absent or gone forever. And certainly there are situations in the world where there are persistent arguments for loss of hope. Yet good must be available, no matter how distant it may seem, because God, who is good itself, is always present. In fact the good that comes from our creator is something we include within us as His offspring.

Our genuine identity as God's spiritual likeness expresses the fullness of the divine nature. In a very real sense, then, no useful quality can be lost to us. Sometimes we may feel we're in the middle of a long, barren stretch in which certain qualities are simply out of reach. While material life by its very nature claims to deprive some and benefit others, divine justice impartially blesses all. It's possible for us to see concrete evidence of this spiritual fact. It's possible for us to pr ove something of the continuity of good.

The key to this proof is found in the Bible. The book of Job, for instance, advises us, "Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee.'' Coming to know God through humble prayer and regeneration, desiring to follow His direction and to have no other gods beside the one God, the one Spirit 209>this mental standpoint serves to dissolve the mist of materiality that would hide His goodness. Such prayerful closeness to God helps us to feel and know more consistently the indestructibility of all that's genuinely good.

Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, and who herself overcame severe misfortune, writes in her book Unity of Good: "All that is beautiful and good in your individual consciousness is permanent. That which is not so is illusive and fading.'' This may at first seem unrealistic. Yet Christ Jesus stated clearly, "The kingdom of God is within you.'' If God, the divine Mind, is totally good, and if our true selfhood is God's image, the very expression of the one Mind--and t hese truths are apparent in the Bible--then whatever is unlike this Mind has no genuine basis. And the good we seek is really within our own true consciousness.

We may struggle through times when we feel as though our grasp on good were shrouded by a dark cloud of fear or melancholy. But prayer can help us see that God hasn't left, that His light and love are here. Prayer can open our eyes to fresh evidence of His uninterrupted goodness. In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mrs. Eddy observes, "As mortals gain more correct views of God and man, multitudinous objects of creation, which before were invisible, will become visible.''

The element of good that may seem to be missing from our lives is never missing from God or from our true being. It isn't missing from the spiritual reality of creation. This is cause for gratitude. It can impel us to acquaint ourselves with Him even more deeply, to be receptive to the blessings that He alone can, and does, unfailingly provide.

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