The Dead Sea Scrolls' message for today
A Christian Science perspective on daily life.
When visiting a historical exhibit, it's natural to expect to see some wonderful artifacts and gain a little background on the objects or the time period. Visitors don't usually expect their hearts to be touched. But an exhibition of the Dead Sea Scrolls was particularly inspiring. A scroll containing the Ten Commandments – the Mosaic teachings, written on leather, and once hidden in caves, lay there for all to see.
One scroll read, "Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you ... that you may fare well, in the land that the LORD your God is assigning to you" (Dead Sea Scrolls Program, p. 19). The especially inspiring phrase was, "the land that the LORD your God is assigning to you."
Even among people who are happy in the countries where they are living, many are searching for their "land," a place where they belong. Some may be unhappy with their jobs, their families, some other aspect of their lives. But to think of ourselves as including the land God has assigned to us changes everything. Even if we've made a mistake, we still have that promise of God's provision.
We can begin to find our "land," or niche, right where we are by learning to see God's hand in our experience even if we're feeling frustrated at the moment. Continued affirmations of God's presence and government will open our days to joy, fulfillment, and progress. A statement by Sir Walter Scott in the story of Ivanhoe, quoted in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy (p. 566), offers fresh insight into progress:
When Israel, of the Lord beloved, Out of the land of bondage came, Her fathers' God before her moved, An awful guide, in smoke and flame...
Time in "the land of bondage" can feel long, but just as the Israelites were led to freedom and God-given rights, so can we. Science and Health also states, "In Egypt, it was Mind which saved the Israelites from belief in the plagues" (p. 133). This "Mind" is God. And divine Mind can save us from whatever is plaguing us or holding us in bondage.
A college student learned this when she was trying to finish her degree. Things weren't going well. So she literally changed her land – moved from the West Coast to the Midwest, hoping that would solve things.
But it didn't. She had to learn that even when it felt as though she were in free fall, God was still there, speaking, guiding, and protecting. By turning to Him, she realized that not only had He been present all along, but He was protecting her from making wrong decisions and moves. She found out what it means to "fare well, in the land that the LORD your God is assigning to you." She changed her thought and yielded to His care – as the Israelites must have done when they were learning to live with the one God.
For her, this meant pursuing the degree she'd started and strengthening her academic foundation. From this prayer, she also gained a greater sense of freedom and confidence, because she knew that she was spiritual, the reflection of divine Mind with all its wisdom and intelligence. This truly brought her to the land, the occupation, that she feels God has assigned to her and where she can serve God best.
Jesus' teachings and his obedience to God's commands can be an inspiration for everyone. He never let fear, over analysis, dread, or lack of confidence stifle his work. He was empowered by his inseparability from God. He said, "My Father worketh hitherto, and I work" (John 5:17).
So, if you think you've been assigned to the wrong cubicle or project or job description, let God lead you to the land and work He has provided just for you.