Safe in God's presence

The toddler in the park watched anxiously as the German shepherd dog, twice his size, came bounding over the grass. Seeing his dad standing nearby, the little boy ran to him, and they stood hand in hand as the dog bounced past. For one moment the youngster had been afraid, but with his dad there he felt quite safe.

Man, as God's spiritual offspring, is always safe in the love and care of his divine Father-Mother. Contrary to what the physical senses tell us, man's real selfhood isn't material and vulnerable but spiritual, indestructible, safe in the presence of his creator. To fully understand this and to feel the presence of God, who is Love, is to destroy the fear of danger. The Psalmist wrote: ''Whither shall I flee from thy presence? . . . If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.'' n1

n1 Psalms 139:7, 9, 10.

The spiritual fact that God is All, the only power, ensures man's safety. Because God is infinite good, there is in reality no evil power to threaten the condition or existence of man, and we can all begin to prove this in our own lives. Even some understanding of God's infiniteness and of man's actual, spiritual nature frees us from fear. Fear is only ignorance of God's presence, a belief that He is not supremely powerful and good.

Referring to what Christian Science says to fear, Mary Baker Eddy n2 writes: '' ' You do not exist, and have no right to exist, for ''perfect Love casteth out fear.'' ' '' She continues in the next paragraph: ''God is everywhere. 'There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard;' and this voice is Truth that destroys error and Love that casts out fear.'' n3

n2 Mrs. Eddy is the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.

n3 Retrospection and Introspection, p. 61.

This recognition of God's ever-presence has even removed for fear and provided safety for soldiers on the battlefield, for people facing such threats as floods and fire, and for others challenged by rampant crime.

Some years ago my husband and I were in a foreign country on a business trip. While there we also wanted very much to visit friends in another part of the country. We obtained the necessary permission from the authorities and were about to set off when we were warned that because of both racial and political factors it would be dangerous for us to travel there. In view of the circumstances, we immediately turned to God for guidance, remembering the Bible verse, ''He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.'' n4 We quietly affirmed that wherever we went we could not possibly stray outside God's protection, and that everyone we encountered was, in truth, under that same loving care. We rejoiced that we were spending that day in His presence!

n4 Psalms 91:1.

We decided to meet our friends, and traveled by car through what was described as an extremely hostile area. Contrary to predictions, our car was not stoned or overturned. We had an inspiring time with our friends and returned to the hotel unharmed. At no point did we feel afraid, but we were very conscious of being ''under the shadow of the Almighty.''

In addition to rejoicing in God's care for us, we learned to recognize that His protection extended to each one. It was not a case of ''our'' being safe from ''them.'' Rather, we realized that our divine Father-Mother was caring for all.

Christ Jesus found himself in what we would consider dangerous situations. Whether confronted by an angry mob or imperiled by a storm at sea, he evidenced a calm that came from his certainty of being in God's presence. We may not be faced by such situations. But it is comforting to know that through loyalty to the one God and to an understanding of our actual nature, we can be utterly safe in every aspect of daily life. To feel the great gentleness of Love's presence brings a peace that assures us of our safety wherever we are. DAILY BIBLE VERSE How excellent is thy loving kindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings Psalms 36:7

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