Do we have times when God seems far off, remote, even totally absent? It may be a personal experience or a world condition that seems to sink us into a black hole of despair, making us feel that God's goodness may be somewhere else, but not where we are.
Yet if God is One and All, as the Bible teaches, He must be everywhere. This means His wisdom and love are right where we are all the time. Whatever we may be doing or being, God is present, and we can experience His guiding, protecting , loving government.
This happy discovery came to me one morning. I woke up with the thought that a birthday was near when I would be of an age considered advanced. The thought came as a shock, because I am used to being quite unaware of the passing of years and never count birthdays. But in that waking moment I was vividly aware of human birth, growth, and death claiming to be my own real and immediate experience. I felt completely lost. I was accustomed, however, to turning to God in need, and began to pray earnestly. The answer came quickly with great light and joy in these words of Christ Jesus: ''Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world."n1
n 1 Matthew 28:20.
The end of the world, I thought - not the end of me! It was the end of evil, worldly beliefs, of the blackness of despair. The thought came clearly that God, infinite Life, can never be separated from His beloved child, for they are one forever. ''Science says: All is Mind and Mind's idea,''n2 writes Mary Baker Eddy , the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. (''Mind'' in this statement is synonymous with God.) We can always wake to this loving assurance as I did then. I saw life as without beginning or end, and now as the time to love and live it.
n2 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 492.
Only an infinite One can be everywhere present, the Mind and Life of everyone. The Principle of all being, the Mind and Soul of all existence, is ever present, forever saying, ''Be still, and know that I am God.''n3 Hearing this assurance, we cannot be afraid or feel lost. How could the consciousness of God's loving presence include fear? If we are not aware of His presence, it may be that we are not yielding to or wholly accepting the divine fact of God's oneness and allness.
n3 Psalms 46:10.
God isn't a far-off person or power, knowing both good and evil. Nor is evil a greater power, more real and present. It's not a power at all, though the material senses tell us otherwise. But material sense is untrustworthy. It can't tell us anything about the perfect spiritual reality established by God.
What, then, can we trust? Spiritual sense, which is natural to man as the image of Spirit, God. Spiritual sense assures us all is well because God loves and cares for His creation without interruption. To trust spiritual sense is not to ignore reality but to awake to it.
I recalled a statement of Mrs. Eddy's that has always reassured me about endless life: ''Science reverses the evidence of material sense with the spiritual sense that God, Spirit, is the only substance; and that man, His image and likeness, is spiritual, not material. This great Truth does not destroy but substantiates man's identity, - together with his immortality and preexistence, or his spiritual coexistence with his Maker.''n4
n4 Miscellaneous Writings, p. 47.
That morning I saw that life would always be with me, for I could never be separated from God, who is Life itself. And I saw in this light that life means progressive, constructive, satisfying activity. In that moment of spiritual illumination, years--centuries, it seemed--fell away, and I settled into a calm, joyous sense of forever being the expression of Life.
We may sometimes seem to be down at the bottom of a big black hole with no daylight anywhere. But there are no black holes in God's infinite presence. Man is His expression, His image, the very evidence of His existence, always safe.
To feel and know this we need to be good listeners, listening quietly through prayer and obedient living to the still, small voice of Love, which is always present, reassuring, supporting, guiding--even right where the black hole seems so real. DAILY BIBLE VERSE God is light, and in him is no darkness at all I John 1:15