It was a moonless midnight when the young hikers left camp. Their objective was to see the dawn from a mountain peak. Led by an experienced guide, they made their way around the back of the mountain by an old logging road. The first ray of light found them above the treeline, ready to begin the steep ascent up the rocky peak. When the sunrise bathed them in its rosy glow, the happy group was resting at the very top.
We may all have our midnight hours -- periods of discouragement, unemployment , loneliness, disease -- when we seem to struggle along dark and rugged paths in our efforts to find the light. But, like the hikers, we can lift our eyes to a mountain peak and follow an experienced guide to the summit and the sunrise.
Can we find a better guide than the inspired Word of the Bible? In the Scriptures are many enlightening accounts of those who climbed upward out of dark despair. The prophet Elijah n1 was one of these. Persecuted, pursued, discouraged, he fled to ''Horeb the mount of God.'' There he was told, ''Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord.''
n1See I Kings 19.
When Elijah obeyed, a ''strong wind rent the mountains''; then came an earthquake and a fire. It seemed that all the elements were raging. But then he heard ''a still small voice.'' He was led to see that the aggressive claims of evil could not frustrate his God-given mission or deprive him of God's love and care. Obeying the commands of this voice, Elijah continued on his way.
Christ Jesus' mountaintop was that spiritual altitude of understanding which enabled him to discern his oneness with the Father and his own perfection as the Son of God. In this light he discerned that all individuals are actually the offspring of God, inseparable from the health and harmony He constantly bestows.
Jesus knew his Father as the source and substance of all that really exists. He refuted the supposed power of evil through his works, showing that in truth, in the light of God's infiniteness, there are no forces of darkness that can deprive man of God-bestowed good. As the sun, knowing nothing of darkness or dawn, radiates its light continuously throughout the universe, so God, divine Life and Love, ceaselessly bestows His blessings upon His creation. The Master's clear understanding of this truth enabled him to feed multitudes, heal the sick and the sinner, and destroy the power of death.
As we follow Jesus' teaching and example, each of us can lift his thought from the darkness of discouragement into the sunlight of faith and understanding. Realizing that in reality we are always bathed in the sunshine of God's love destroys fear and removes the false sense that we're burdened mortals , striving for an unattainable goal. Listening to the still, small voice, we will receive just the spiritual ideas we need, whatever the challenge.
Out of the depths of her own experience, and from the mountaintop of spiritual inspiration, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, assures us: ''As the children of Israel were guided triumphantly through the Red Sea, the dark ebbing and flowing tides of human fear, -- as they were led through the wilderness, walking wearily through the great desert of human hopes, and anticipating the promised joy, -- so shall the spiritual idea guide all right desires in their passage from sense to Soul, from a material sense of existence to the spiritual, up to the glory prepared for them who love God.'' n2
n2 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 566.
DAILY BIBLE VERSE The Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light. Isaiah 60:19