I was snorkeling along a reef. Diving under the water, I saw the largest tang I'd ever seen. He was a soft grayish blue with deep blue lines, and he moved regally. Swimming a little above him was a school of tiny, brilliantly purple fish. The whole area was alive with life.
Returning to the reef later, I started to look for my tang when I suddenly realized I had been discovered by a barracuda. He, too, was large, and he became very aggressive. I was totally unnerved. I had spent much of the morning praying and studying the Bible, so it was natural to reach out in prayer for help. And this time it was a reach with a lot of stretch to it.
Coincident with this redical turning to God was a great lessening of fear. The presence of this fish could not separate me from God's care or the operation of His law, which protects from evil. I was about forty yards from the shore, and though stalked all the way up to where the waves broke, I arrived without harm.
I saw on the shore, deeply grateful, and suddenly remembered a verse I'd read that morning in the Bible: "The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in form this time forth, and even for evermore." n1 This verse was part of a Bible Lesson in the Christian Science Quarterly,m and the subject of the Lesson was "God the Preserver of Man." I felt I had good evidence that this verse and the title of this lesson were certainly true.
n1 Psalms 121:8;
But I also knew there was more work to do. When you fall off a horse you're supposed to get right back on.Well, it wasn't the time for diving back into the water, but I knew the time would come later, and I was uncomfortable with the thought.
Later in the afternoon I was reding the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scripturesm by Mary Baker Eddy. n2 My eyes were arrested by the following statement: "Divine Love is infinite. Therefore all that really exists is in and of God, and manifests His love." n3 As I pondered this and considered how often the Bible gives us evidence of this fact, another passage in the same book came to mind. "Understanding the control which Love held over all," Mrs. Eddy explains, "Daniel felt safe in the lion's den, and Paul proved the viper to be harmless. All of God's creatures, moving in the harmony of Science, are harmless, useful, indestructible. A realization of this grand verity was a source of strength to the ancient worthies." n4
n2 Mrs. Eddy is the Discoverer and Founder of Chrisitan Science;
n3 Science and Health,m p. 340;
n4 ibid.,m p. 514.
Thinking about the implications of these statements, I felt strengthened and thoroughly reassured. Later others ran into barracuda in this area but were not threatened and were able to leave the water calmly. I was more careful and alert when swimming alone, and was also far more conscious of God's ever-present care.
It's not unusual for any of us to be threatened in one way or another. But it is not the purpose of God that His creation cower helplessly. The purpose of God is that we live without fear. This is achieved as we grow to understand God as infinite, ever-present Love. Because God power, and this power, when understood and yielded to, controls lives.
God's spiritual creation contains no dangerous areas. According to the Biblical metaphor, in His presence the lion lies down peaceably with the lamb. God preserves all His ideas from even the possibility of violence. So if you or I find ourselves threatened, we can turn trustingly and understandingly to Him, and we will be preserved and delivered from evil. The Bible shows examples of this deliverance in many places. Not only Daniel and Paul, but Moses and the children of Israel, the armies of Gideon, the three Hebrew captives who faced the fiery furnace, and Jesus' disciples were taught not to be afraid and to trust God. Their understanding trust in God delivered them from danger. No element of God's creation is ever forsaken by Him. Divine Love is a constant we can count on. DAILY BIBLE VERSE And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:21