"The one with the huge balancing rock on it?" I asked my daughter.
"Yes, Dad, that one."
My two kids and I were looking up at some mountains and trying to decide which peak to climb. The one they chose was pretty steep, and although we wouldn't need any climbing equipment, it would be a huge challenge. This was the first real climb for my children. I stayed just below them, always looking out for their safety.
It was so much fun. We talked about lots of things as we climbed. Neither child ever took a misstep or slipped. My son said that the way I was always below him reminded him of how God is always with us, watching over and protecting us.
"Yes," I answered, "but God's watching is so much more effective. God takes care of everyone." The Bible says, "The Lord upholdeth all that fall, and raiseth up all those that be bowed down" (Psalms 145:14).
In the book of Acts there is an account of a man who was listening to St. Paul preach (see chap. 20:7-12). He fell from a great height. He wasn't moving after he landed. "His life is in him" was Paul's response to onlookers. Was this statement simply one of hope? Or could it have been a statement of truth? The result-that "they brought the young man alive, and were not a little comforted"-suggests the latter. Healing results when God's law is brought to bear on any evil, or on the threat of any evil, that could ever confront us. God's law is omnipotent and harmonious; it is the foundation for our very identity as God's likeness.
Even if you never have thought too much about who God is or how you relate to Him, perhaps you have suspected all along that God has been with you, caring for you, even carrying you during some of the hardest times in your life. "His life is in him." Our life is really in God, divine Life. No, we can't be outside of Life. As Paul said on another occasion, "In him we live, and move, and have our being" (Acts 17:28).
Even in moments when we aren't all that aware of God's presence, we are protected because we are actually the spiritual reflection of God. I remember once skiing with my father in the springtime, down a wide, U-shaped riverbed. The walls went up about fifteen feet or so and were fun to jump out of because this would send you very high into the air if you were going fast enough. You'd land in deep snow. The weekend before I'd been doing just that.
This being springtime, the snow had been melting fast, and on the day I was there with my dad I went faster than I'd ever gone before, up and off of the wall of that river gorge. Once I was up in the air, I saw that the snow in the landing area had melted! There were rocks and mud and small plants.
But what happened next was even more surprising. Even though I was high in the air, hurtling toward what looked like serious danger, I felt absolutely calm. I could feel God there with me. I knew I was safe, under His control. I felt utterly dependent on Him and His law. My dad and I had been learning to know and trust God.
There was still a very small patch of snow, probably about eight feet long and five feet wide, and I landed on my seat directly in the center of it, completely unharmed. Words can't describe how close I felt to God at that moment. I took my skis off and slowly walked up the hill through the mud, rejoicing with every step.
Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered the Science of Christ, wrote in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures of the purely spiritual nature we each have: "Mortals have a very imperfect sense of the spiritual man and of the infinite range of his thought. To him belongs eternal Life. Never born and never dying, it were impossible for man, under the government of God in eternal Science, to fall from his high estate" (p. 258). To yield to the fact that we are always "under the government of God" is what affords the kind of protection that I experienced that day.
God is constantly with us, watching over and protecting us. God is divine Spirit, and Spirit-not matter-maintains us. Protection lies in spiritual truth, and since God is infinite, no one can be out of His perfect care.