I woke up the other morning with a familiar melody going around and around in my mind. It was a romantic ballad that I remembered from my high-school years. It had something in it about "your nearness" - "you, my one and only love, my hope, my dream, my heart's desire ...." (We all know the theme!)
I smiled and couldn't help but remember important lessons about love I've learned.
There were times when I was constantly looking for someone to love me, someone to lean on, someone to depend on. Sometimes I'd find that "just right" relationship - only to lose it later on. Or, I would make a choice that turned out to be the wrong one, in which case I would have to retrace my footsteps.
But that morning, when that old familiar love song came to thought, I realized how much I've changed! For one thing, I no longer believe that any person is the source of my happiness, or my comfort, or my security.
Now I know that God is the source of all good in my life.
God is forever our loving, supporting, healing Father and Mother. No matter what the particular circumstance, God is right with us. He never leaves us. We can find God to be an unfailing support, guide, and true friend.
And God can be our healer. I remember one time when I was desperately ill. I was praying for myself, and a Christian Science practitioner was praying for me as well. I called out to God. I knew He was right there with me, but at that moment I needed to feel tangible proof of His care. I needed to be lifted out of my suffering.
Words from the Bible came to me in my great need. They were these, from the prophet Jeremiah: "Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved" (17:14). From my study of Christian Science, which was discovered in 1866 by Mary Baker Eddy, I recognized that there was a spiritual law - a healing law of God - behind the words. I held tightly to the fact that God does heal us because He is all-powerful. He is divine Love. Governing, saving Love. When we begin to understand God and trust Him with all our heart, we experience in our lives something of His infinite harmony, which includes emotional well-being and good physical health.
That leaning on God proved to be a turning point in my time of illness; I quickly became more comfortable, and shortly I was completely well.
Now, I ask myself, what human companion, what friend - no matter how dear or how loving - could have done that for me? While even the truest friendship has its limits, there are no limits to the love of God, which is spiritual. It strengthens, instructs, corrects, heals. It does not disappoint.
Do you crave the company and support of others? You are certainly entitled to have it, for friendships enrich our lives. Strong marriages are a blessing to many people. But the most important relationship of all is the one we have to God. When we first understand our unity with Him, and our inseparability from all His goodness and love, we can trust that everything else in our lives will then fall into place.
Christ Jesus told his disciples, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you" (Matt. 6:33). God is truly our best friend. As we endeavor to understand Him better, and strive to express His nature, we find the good we long for. Right friendships, satisfaction, and health are in accord with God's law of universal, impartial Love. We can trust this law to govern our lives.
Next time I hear a desperate love song on the radio, or just in my mind, I think I may hum a little hymn instead. This might be a good one:
God is with me, gently o'er me
Are His wings of mercy spread;
All His way made plain before me,
And His glory round me shed.
Shall my pilgrim feet be led.
("Christian Science Hymnal," No. 81)
You can visit the home page of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, at www.tfccs.com.