Protection for families
We can deal successfully with the responsibilities of parenthood as we come to realize the scope of God's care for all His creation. Christ Jesus proved the practicality of an understanding of God through his many healings. The power Jesus exercised is available today and can help parents meet family challenges. This power is founded on the fact of the perfection of God and His image, man. As Mary Baker Eddy n1 writes, "The Christ- like understanding of scientific being and divine healing includes a perfect Principle and idea, -- perfect God and perfect man, -- as the basis of thought and demonstration.' n2
n1 Mrs. Eddy is the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science
n2 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,m p. 259
Some twenty-eight hundred years ago, a small family worked a farm near Shunem , an ancient Middle Eastern town.n3 A religious man, Elisha, traveled past their farm from time to time, and the family would invite him and his servant in for a meal and for lodging.
n3 See II, Kings 4:8-37
One day the family's young son become ill and died. The mother put him on Elisha's bed and rode quickly to find "the man of God." As the woman approach Mount carmel, Elisha's servant went to meet her and, as his Master had instructed him, asked her if all was well with her family. "It is well," she relied.
As she approached Elisha, however, he sensed that something was wrong with her son. After sending his servant to try to save the boy, which he failed to do, Elisha himself went to the woman's house. He prayed to God and restored the young man to life.
The mother's love for God had originally caused here to welcome Elisha into her home. The prophet had spoken and taught and loved the qualities of the one God. Her faith had undoubtedly turned into real trust as his visits brought continued instruction and encouragement. Her own developed confidence in God's power finally led her to seek help from the only source where she could have gained it. "I will not leave thee," she had said to Elisha. Because of this unfailing trust in God and Elisha's own faithfulness, she regained her son.
Elisha, too, had had so much evidence of God's love and care in his own life and in what he had seen with his great teacher, Elijah, that he could trust implicitly that God's will was not the boy's death, but life!
Each of us can learn to trust God and the power of prayer by building our experience of His might. In small ways we can prove that "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."n4 We can prove that "perfect God and perfect man" is not a platitude or a meaningless abstraction but a fact of life.
n4 Psalms 46:1
As our experience grows, our prayers will become sharper and more complete. They will lose elements of wishful thinking. Our families -- no matter how large or small, or how spread out in the world -- will be seen increasingly as within the tender care of God's infinite goodness. Accidents, mistakes, or illness do not belong to the real man, God's image, and they can be ruled out of our lives.
Christ Jesus taught that nobody stands between God and man. In truth, God and man are one in being, and God communicates directly with man. We have God's Word through the Master. Jesus said, "I am come a light into the world, that whosoever beleiveth on me should not abide in darkness." n5 Think of that! No darkness of fear; no darkness of doubt; no darkness of sickness or death. We and our families can be safe, and we can prove this today as we pray with trust in the all-power of God, understanding man's direct, unfailing connection with Him.
n5 John 12:46
Mrs. Eddy writes, "Through many generations human beliefs will be attaining diviner conceptions, and the immortal and perfect model of God's creation will finally be seen as the only true conception of being." n6
n6 Science and Health,m p. 260