A disappointing situation had developed at work, and I called my wife for encouragement. But the phone rang and rang and rang. No one there! I thought. No one there. The words echoed in my thought as I walked back to work.
Yet God is always present, and His help is unfailing.
Joseph, from the Old Testament, proved this when he faced enormous challenges with apparently no one to turn to. His jealous brothers threw him into a pit, and he was taken to Egypt where he was sold into slavery. But through his integrity and spirituality, through his trust in the one God, Joseph overcame adversity. He eventually rose to the second-highest position in Egypt, subordinate only to Pharaoh, and saved Egypt and people in neighboring lands from famine. And he was reunited with his own family. He told his brothers, ''Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.'' n1
n1 Genesis 45:5.
Joseph had every reason to feel the need of others' help. But the knowledge of God's loving presence with him at every turn of events sustained him. With people, perhaps he might have endured. But with God, Joseph triumphed!
Christ Jesus had friends, the disciples perhaps among the closest. Yet in his hour of greatest need - his arrest, trial, and crucifixion - nearly all these friends left him. ''Just when I need you most,'' he might have said. But Jesus did not, and could not, rely on human friendship in that hour of need. He understood that he and his Father, God, had a living, spiritual, uninterruptible relationship. ''I and my Father are one,'' n2 Jesus once said. And in demonstration of this truth he not only endured the cross but triumphed in his resurrection and ascension.
n2 John 10:30.
Jesus was certain of God's immediate presence, and he practiced this understanding through healing and preaching wherever he went. We can practice too. We can trust God every day with our desires and goals and with what we face that day.
Going back to my own situation, as I returned to work that afternoon, I saw that as close as my wife and I were, the support and guidance I needed in this circumstance could come only from God.
A perception of the truth of being, of our inseparability from God and His constant care for us as His spiritual offspring, can bring practical healing solutions to our problems. Then ''I and my Father are one'' becomes to us a meaningful truth, applicable to our daily living.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, knew firsthand what it was like to work alone on an ideal over a long period of time. And she understood the closeness and magnitude of God's love. She writes, ''Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need.'' n3
n3 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 494.m
But what about people? They are grand! There is so much joy and friendship to be shared with others. And often there is much to be learned from friends and family members in difficult moments. But always, the source of true good expressed among people is God. There is no magic cure-all inherent in a friendship.
The wholesomeness and happiness and stability we feel stem directly from our relationship to God and the good He provides. The more we understand this relationship and live in harmony with it, the more we can contribute to a marriage, a family, a school, a business.
''Contribute'' is a key word. Overdependence on people can lead to a parasitic situation, blinding one to what is naturally available to him through God's presence and love. But such a misconception can be healed through an understanding of the truth of being, which is the only permanent remedy for our difficulties. And think what relief such healing means to the one being leaned on!
God is everywhere. Our dear human friends notwithstanding, if we seek what we need in God, we'll find it every time! DAILY BIBLE VERSE Thus saith the Lord. . . As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you. Isaiah 66:12, 13