I was driving back from a long trip and was still quite a distance from home. I had been behind the wheel most of the day, but I was feeling more than just tired. A wave of pain and nausea was sweeping over me, and it made me feel somewhat panicky. All I wanted was to get home; yet the only way was to drive.
The particular highway I was on was one very long stretch between towns. I didn't know anyone in that area to call for help, and there probably wasn't a phone for miles, anyway. Feeling unable to go any farther, I pulled over to the side of the road and turned to God.
I knew from experience that I could expect help by doing this. Christian Science had taught me that when I need help I can turn to God confidently, and never have to plead or beg! In fact, a good way to acknowledge God's presence is to thank Him for being present and caring for us.
I remembered that Christ Jesus, before he raised Lazarus from the dead, began his prayer this way: ''Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always.'' n1
n1 John 11:41, 42.
So I prayed this way. I closed my eyes and with all my heart thanked God for being God - for being in control of His whole creation, including me, and for keeping everything in perfect harmony and order.
I kept up this calm acknowledging of God's goodness and all-power because my body didn't seem to be agreeing with harmony at all. And my thoughts were surging in anxiety-ridden directions: ''What if I don't feel better? Who will take care of me?'' ''I just wish I were home in my own bed!''
It seemed as though I had a battle going on in my thought, a kind of mini-battle between good and evil. Good was declaring that God is all-powerful and present, keeping me in perfect peace. Evil was claiming that my being was upset and out of order. The uncomfortable symptoms made me feel like the very battleground itself!
Prayer had rescued me in both greater and lesser needs than this one, and I knew I could again rely on it if I was radical enough in my conviction that God has no part in evil or sickness at all. If God truly is God, He is omnipotent and omnipresent. ''The Lord God omnipotent reigneth,'' n2 the Bible says.
n2 Revelation 19:6.
What space does that leave for evil or fear? ''If God is present here,'' I reasoned, ''then sickness and fear are not present here. God neither made sickness nor can He coexist with it.''
I felt a calmness come over me, and the anxiety waned. Within a few minutes the symptoms lessened, and then entirely faded away. I was able to continue on my trip homeward, free. Not only was the sickness gone but I no longer felt tired. In fact I felt very refreshed and rested in contrast to what I had felt just a few minutes before.
The Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, n3 encourages us never to agree with sickness or to resign ourselves to it. The textbook shows how Bible truths can be applied to healing sickness and other troubles in the way that Christ Jesus taught his disciples.
n3 The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.
Referring to God as Truth, Mrs. Eddy writes, ''It is well to be calm in sickness; to be hopeful is still better; but to understand that sickness is not real and that Truth can destroy its seeming reality, is best of all, for this understanding is the universal and perfect remedy.'' n4
n4 Science and Health, pp. 393-394.
Because Truth is universal, it belongs to everyone. It is an ever-present help. DAILY BIBLE VERSE It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is my faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. it is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord. Lamenations 3:22-26.