Have you ever wondered how you would respond in an emergency? Would you know what to do or where to turn for help? Whatever the emergency, help is at hand, the kind of help the Psalmist referred to when he said, ''God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.'' n1 God's goodness and power strengthen us. God's intelligence directs us. God's love, as we're receptive to it, pervades every aspect of our lives. Instant, wholehearted turning to our heavenly Father can and does bring us the inspiration and the practical help we need.
n1 Psalms 46:1.
This was proved to me while I was on an extended tour of Europe. At one point our group stopped at a small hotel in the Dolomites. Two women shared the room next to me and my companion, and at midnight we were wakened by a frantic knocking. One of the women was experiencing a severe nosebleed and her friend had been unable to reach anyone for help. They were very frightened and asked if I could try to get someone - and, of course, I agreed.
The switchboard was disconnected for the night, and the lobby was locked tight and unattended. For an eerie moment I felt totally isolated; no human help was to be found. But the Bible promises I had leaned on all my life came through , clear and strong. Of course we weren't isolated! God's goodness and care are never suspended or shut off from His children. As I went back upstairs I began praying with all my heart and understanding to the God who is divine, ever-present Love and Mind.
''Do you believe in prayer?'' I asked the women. Yes, they did. ''We'll all pray,'' I assured them, ''and let's remember that God is good, and that He sends His children only good.''
Back in my room, I turned to the Lord's Prayer. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes, ''Our Master said, 'After this manner therefore pray ye,' and then he gave that prayer which covers all human needs.'' n2 I steadfastly declared that God's will, in earth as in heaven, can only include peace, health, perfection, and joy; that God delivers us from evil; that His kingdom, power, and glory are here and now and forever. I knew that my companion was praying, too.
n2 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 16.
Gradually, I sensed that things had quieted down next door, and I was sure that our friends were asleep. I went to sleep, too, leaning gratefully on God's surrounding love.
In the morning we were finally able to contact the tour director. She felt that a medical examination was in order, and in a short time a local doctor was located. What good news to learn that he had confirmed everything to be perfectly normal and that we could all continue together for the balance of the tour - with over 1000 kilometers to go!
God's love for His children is always present for us to turn to. As we turn away resolutely from the fear, material dependencies, and wrong indulgences that would try to occupy our thinking, we will find that, as Mrs. Eddy states in the Christian Science textbook, ''divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need.'' n3 Love cares for our needs not just in emergencies, but every hour of every day. Our remedy is always at hand.
n3 Science and Health, p. 494.
DAILY BIBLE VERSE Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Isaiah 41:10