Many people feel a sense of desperation, living from day to day with the fear that they'll somehow find themselves in a troubling situation from which there is no escape.
But there's always an answer in God, who is infinite Love. In fact, a central theme of the Holy Bible is God's faithful deliverance of those who meekly turn to Him. In the Old Testament, Noah and his family were saved from a disastrous flood; the children of Israel were delivered from slavery. In the New Testament, Peter and Paul escaped from unjust imprisonment. These instances illustrate one of the Bible's tenderest promises - that a faithful God will ''make a way to escape.'' n1
n1 I Corinthians 10:13.
As reassuring as these experiences may be to some, perhaps we still feel vulnerable. Is it because God's help seems too far off, or because hereditary or environmental influences seem too deep, or because we're victims of our own bad judgment or of others' subtle schemes?
Whatever the reason, we can feel the power of God and His Christ coming with gentlest assurance and help. God is not far off and uncaring but right at hand as perfect Love.
The way we discern God is through spiritual sense, cultivated through prayer and purification of thought. This perception transcends what our eyes and ears report. It is an inner spiritual aliveness and conviction that assures us harmony is the actual reality, despite appearances. Limited, materialistic reasoning doesn't support spiritual sense; yet this sense has an authority that is unshakable. Spiritual sense comforts troubled thought with the incomparable understanding that there is always an answer because God is here and does care for us.
Spiritual sense is the perception of spiritual truth, the unchanging truth of God and man. God is infinite, all-powerful, eternal good; man is God's perfect spiritual offspring, for whom He cares completely. It is as impossible for God's man to suffer as it is for God to suffer.
To accept these truths is not always easy when things weigh on our thought and seem the very opposite of good. But the triumphant fact remains that good is now dominant over every evil, as Christ Jesus showed us. And we can prove this through our humble persistence in following his teachings and example.
Many desperately wish Jesus were here to help them. But, in an important sense, he is still here. He clearly promised, ''Lo, I am with you alway.'' n2 And Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes of Jesus' statement, '' 'Lo, I am with you alway,' - that is, not only in all time, but in all ways and conditions.'' n3 But with this tender promise the Master didn't mean that he would be personally with us. He was referring to the universal, healing Christ, which he perfectly lived and which meek hearts through all time have discovered is present to help and heal them.
n2 Matthew 28:20.
n3 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 317.
Regular readers of this column, written by many authors, can be comforted to know that God does heal a wide range of woes. He is still present, and His love and power are intact. Mrs. Eddy writes, ''Remember, thou canst be brought into no condition, be it ever so severe, where Love has not been before thee and where its tender lesson is not awaiting thee. Therefore despair not nor murmur, for that which seeketh to save, to heal, and to deliver, will guide thee, if thou seekest this guidance.'' n4
n4 The First Church of Christ Scientist, and Miscellany, pp. 149-150.
There is an answer. DAILY BIBLE VERSE For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven. Thy faithfullness is unto all genertions: thou has established the earth, and it abideth. . . . Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. . . . Thous art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word. . . .Thou art near, O Lord; and all thy commandments are truth. . . .Consider mine affiction, and deliver me: for I do not forget thy law. . . . Great are thy tender mercies, O Lord. Psalms 119:89, 105, 114, 151, 153, 156