Do you remember when Gideon, a leader of his people in the Bible's book of Judges, was pressed to make an important decision? Deeply desiring proof that God was with him, Gideon asked God to cause dew to form overnight on a piece of wool fleece, but not on the adjacent ground. In the morning the fleece alone was wet. To be absolutely sure he hadn't misconstrued the event, hadn't merely suffered a trick of the imagination, Gideon again entreated God to prove Himself: "Let not thine anger be hot against me, and I will speak but this once: . . . let it now be dry only upon the fleece, and upon all the ground let there be dew. And God did so that night." n1
n1 See Judges 6:36-40;
For many years I too had a profound longing for a proof of God. Such evidence would take the form, I'd hoped, of a simple message directed solely to me -- something undeniably intelligent and unmistakably divine. If only, I thought, God would give me some small assurance of His presence and care, then I could endure anything. Perhaps a disembodied voice saying I needn't worry. Or a minor suspension of some material law -- a momentary lapse in gravity, for instance: a floating pencil?
Although these semiarticulate yearnings were, to say the least, bereft of any sort of discipline, they were nonetheless sincere; my feelings drew upon two important -- even if loosely held -- premises: that God was real and that He was good.
In the ensuing years the study of Christian Science has shown me that unformed longings -- when premised on God's reality and goodness -- are realy a form of prayer. God is our actual Parent, and we can expect that an honest desire to know God better will be fulfilled. As Mary Baker Eddy n2 writes, "Desire is prayer; and no loss can occur from trusting God with our desires, that they may be moulded and exalted before they take form in words and in deeds." n3
n2 Mrs. Eddy is the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science;
n3 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,m p. 1.
Deity is Mind, I've learned, and perfect, spiritual man is His idea. Mortal mind and its false concept, mortal man, are counterfeits of true being. As God's offspring, we exist as witnesses to divine Love, God -- indeed, we are the "proof" of His harmonious magnificence. This great truth must be grasped step by step through our spiritual growth out of matter, "here a little, and there a little." So very important in this process are the prayer-based Christian demonstrations of God's omnipotence -- proofs of God -- in which we get the victory over the inharmonies of sin and disease. Sometimes these precious proofs have the sharp clarity of a Gideon experience.
Once an employer invited me to a fully paid job interview. Keenly interested in the position, I had only one problem: a dread of flying. I turned to God in prayer and asked a Christian Science practitioner to support me in this. As the time of the flight neared, my fears intensified. I just didn't see how God could help. Nevertheless I clung to something the practitioner had said, a thought from one of Christ Jesus' lessons: Put yourself in God's hands and just trust,m as a little child. I did.
The plane climbed the sky. And as the ground shrank beneath, so did my fear. In a twinkling, every vestige of anxiety vanished, replaced by a buoyant joy I'd never known. So stirringly sudden was the healing of discomfort that I recognized divine Love alone as the power behind it.
As we study and live the teachings of Christian Science, proofs of God accumulate in our experience, showing that we are indeed the sons and daughters of God. DAILY BIBLE VERSE The Lord preserveth al l them that love him. Psalms 145:20