What Are We Expecting?

'BE careful what you expect, my mother would often say, "because you just might get it. It's probably an old saying, but my mother made it sound like it was hers.Over the years, though, I've begun to realize that this admonition hints at greater truth about reality. It hints at how important it is to expect good. Nobody wants awful things to happen, but they do happen just the same, it seems. And we pretty much accept their inevitability. We may even begin to expect that there will always be something to spoil or cut off good in our lives. But right where evil seems inevitable, trust in God combined with willingness to listen for His direction can provide us a way out. And as we learn to turn to God in prayer in our daily lives, we begin to see more clearly why it's natural to expect good. Prayer turns us away from evil toward good. Understanding what is true--thus God-created--eliminates our vulnerability to what is untrue. When we really know what is true, it is impossible to be deceived by a lie. We can turn from the falsehood that evil is inevitable and begin persistently to look for God's goodness in our lives. What happens when we do this? We begin to find good more and more. Whether we're dealing with our home, our family, our work, we need a spiritual vision of the good that is attainable. How does listening in prayer for God's direction help us? By counteracting the fear and resignation that would blind us to the fact that the law of God, good, is always operating in our lives. God, who is divine Love, is always loving His children. And divine Love has a very practical impact on the human condition. Because God's goodness is a law, we can count on it. We can expect good to be real and permanent in our lives. Praying--having the courage to listen to God, and then trusting our prayer and acting on it--is very important in helping us see more of the good God is always giving man. In her book No and Yes, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes: "Prayer begets an awakened desire to be and do good. It makes new and scientific discoveries of God, of His goodness and power. It shows us more clearly than we saw before, what we already have and are; and most of all, it shows us what Go d is. God shows us, as we listen in prayer, that He already loves us and is always caring for us. What a reassuring fact! But we can't just keep going over this fact in thought, feeling that our responsibility ends with repeating these comforting words. We must strive to understand the divine law of good. Then we must prove what we understand of it through consistently expecting good. Then we are beginning to live as Christ Jesus taught. Jesus daily trusted God to meet every need. His life was filled with examples of how trusting God, divine Love, enabled him to do great works of good. So certain was he of God's goodness that he confidently thanked God for healing before those around him had seen the effect of his prayer. He said, John's Gospel records, "Father, I thank thee that thou has heard me. And then he restored his friend Lazarus to life. We can see how great an example the life of Jesus still is for us today. And we can begin right now to expect God's goodness as we learn to understand and prove how God answers prayer. We may start with what seems like little healings, but each one forwards our trust in and understanding of God's law. As we see the practical evidence of God's goodness grow in our lives, we come to expect His goodness more and more.

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