Trading fear for trust

IN the wake of personal loss or physical harm, have we, despite our belief in a benevolent creator, wrestled with the troubling question ``Dear God, where was Your loving care when this happened to me?'' Or with the correlative question ``Can I trust in Your care in the future?'' Throughout his healing ministry, Christ Jesus clearly demonstrated God's deep, enduring love for His children. Yet from the cross he cried, ``My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?''1 Was he now bereft of that love so essential to him in his gravest hour? Absolutely not! Could he have met the most remarkable challenge of his career if God had not been with him? His resurrection provides proof of God's perpetual care for His children. If we've been wrestling, then, with questions about God's care, we might ask ourselves if the fear or anguish of a challenging time drove from our thought all awareness of God's presence. Did we doubt the immediacy of His love, question its relevance to the crisis at hand? Or did we perhaps question our worthiness to see practical proof of God's love for His children?

God's care is never withheld from His children. Man is created in His image, inherently worthy of His love. Yet we do have a responsibility to live in obedience to God's law in order to prove His eternal care. The Bible represents Him as saying: ``If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them...I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people.''2 Essential to our obedience is the cultivation of a deep and lasting trust in our creator. Our job is to ``have no other gods before [Him],''3 to attribute to no other the power He alone possesses, to seek of no other the guidance and protection our daily lives require.

We show our joyful acknowledgment of our relationship to God by turning to Him always, in every avenue of our lives. Nothing is too small or mundane, nothing too complex or difficult. Consistently turning to God awakens in us a natural trust in His care. Daily proofs of His care assure us of His constant presence and our worthiness to receive the blessings He so generously bestows.

To call on God only sporadically and only for assistance with carefully chosen aspects of our experience is to indicate by our actions a lack of understanding of His omnipresent love and a wavering trust in His wisdom and power. Ignorance and distrust blind us to God's ever-presence. If we would know the constancy of His love, we must turn to Him with constancy--and with conviction rooted in understanding. We read in the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy,4 ``Practice not profession, understanding not belief, gain the ear and right hand of omnipotence and they assuredly call down infinite blessings.''5

If in our daily lives we live our deep trust in God's love for us, we will naturally turn to Him for help in important matters. And we will witness the immediacy of His loving power and protection. A realization of the omnipresence of God, good, is a rebuke to evil and enables us to find protection against loss or harm. Our active acknowledgment of God's loving presence opens our thought to recognize precisely the right thing to do--and gives us the courage to do it--when a challenge arises.

We have this Scriptural assurance, borne out in the lives of many today: ``If...thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul. When thou art in tribulation,...if thou turn to the Lord thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice; (for the Lord thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee,...nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them.''6

If we would feel the caring presence of God at our side, if we would be delivered from the bondage of fear and distrust, we need but call upon God in prayer, understanding His love--and our worthiness!

1Matthew 27:46. 2Leviticus 26:3, 12. 3Exodus 20:3. 4The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. 5Science and Health, p. 15. 6Deuteronomy 4:29-31. DAILY BIBLE VERSE They that trust in the Lord shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever. Psalms 125:1

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