Some people will give you a joking response when they don't want to help you with something. Quoting a line from an old window cleaner commercial, they'll smile and say apologetically, "I don't do windows."
That phrase was making the rounds in our home when the sliding glass doors were dirty. We kept putting off cleaning them. Finally, we resolved to do it together.
On the next sunny, warm day, we went outside and did windows. But to our surprise, the glass looked just as dirty as before. That's because, as we found, the excessive dirt had been on the inside the whole time.
Aha! A moral lesson. For months we had been thinking that the problem was outside. And that reminded me of how often I've put off solving problems in my life because they seem outside my control or influence. Or maybe I've felt a problem belonged to someone else because it was the result of his or her own words or actions or character flaws.
A problem might even seem outside of God's control. But the Bible teaches us otherwise. The fact is, we're responsible for our own thinking and acting. And prayer is always a viable option. Genuinely turning to God for help is what gives us all the ability to solve problems.
Sometimes it's a daily, minute-to-minute job to keep turning to God. But it becomes easier when you hold on to the idea that He is all-powerful, infinite, and good - and when you accept that you are His reflection. That He made you good.
God loves each one of us, unconditionally. The power of God will help us, right here on earth, to conquer bad traits, remorse, illness, financial burden, or tragedy. Even when a problem has gone on for a long time, we can keep trusting God and find that prayer leads us to a solution. The answer is never ultimately "out there." It always lies within our own thinking, as we let in the understanding God gives.
I had to trust like that at my new job. A co-worker and I were at odds with each other. She was the kind of person I had never gotten along well with. But at the same time, I liked my new job and boss, and I decided one day to pray about this unpleasant relationship.
My prayer went something like this: "God, I don't know what do to, but I do know You love this woman, because You made her. She is Your child, just like I am, so with Your help, I know You can show me what You love about her, and I can love her, too."
This prayer may not have been the most holy of offerings. But it was honest. And it did include my willingness to stop criticizing and resenting and to love instead.
The next time I saw my co-worker, instead of the usual friction, we were cooperative with each other. And shortly after, we became friendly enough to head out to lunch together. We actually found we had quite a bit in common. To me, this was remarkable. Seeing the bad feelings between us disappear was like seeing the dirt disappear from the inside of the glass doors. It happened when I washed the unGodlike views of that woman out of my own thoughts.
Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science, wrote, "The way to extract error from mortal mind is to pour in truth through flood-tides of Love [God]" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," pg. 201).
If you want to feel the healing, cleansing touch of God in your life, remember: God is infinite and good. God's power can make good apparent. And with willingness on your part, you can be a clean window for God's goodness to shine through.
Wash you, make you clean;
put away the evil of your
doings from before mine eyes;
cease to do evil; learn to do
well; seek judgment, relieve
the oppressed, judge the
fatherless, plead for the widow.
Come now, and let us reason
together, saith the Lord: though
your sins be as scarlet, they
shall be as white as snow.
(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society