`An answer of peace'
HE was a man in authority, and deeply troubled. He'd had some disturbing dreams and yearned to understand their meaning. He sought help from counselors and wise men but found none. Then, hearing of a young man known to interpret dreams, he sent for him. Disclaiming any personal powers of interpretation, the young man declared that God would provide ``an answer of peace.'' Discerning the message of the visions, he was instrumental in feeding multitudes at a time of severe famine. You may recognize the dreamer as an ancient Egyptian ruler and the interpreter as a young Hebrew slave named Joseph. The whole story is found in the Bible, in the forty-first chapter of Genesis. Even though the events took place thousands of years ago, they offer hope today to those yearning for answers to individual and world problems.
With the same calm trust Joseph expressed, we can rely on God to provide answers. No decision is so difficult, no question so perplexing, no doubt so oppressive, that we can't learn to yield to the omniscience of God, divine Mind.
But what about all the unsolved problems? Certainly we see in the world some major challenges that require consecrated, heartfelt prayer on the part of us all. Yet solutions can be found, because the one God knows no limitations.
In our own lives if a trouble seems insurmountable, we might ask ourselves if we're clinging to strongly held opinions or longtime misconceptions about how it should be solved. Perhaps we're relying solely on human logic instead of humbly listening in prayer for God's unerring direction. Jesus turned consistently to God for answers, saying, ``I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.''1 If Jesus always turned to God for help, how can we expect to find the right answers without God's aid? As Jesus proved, turning wholeheartedly to God brings a healing solution.
Here's a small illustration. Once, several years ago, I was troubled about a family situation. Relatives lovingly urged me to go ahead with travel plans, although I felt strongly that the plans should be changed so that I could offer the help they needed to move into a new home. As I reasoned and worried, I became more and more confused about the right thing to do. That night I tossed and turned with indecision.
Finally I turned to God, humbly asking Him for direction. With that simple prayer I fell quietly asleep. A short time later the telephone woke me. As the caller and I talked, a solution became apparent that benefited everyone involved. The peace I felt indicated the rightness of the plan. Necessary changes in travel plans were made quickly and easily. The revised schedule allowed me to attend an important meeting in another city and still return in time to help with the move. Although this was hardly a challenge affecting the lives of thousands, it helped, along with other experiences, to show me the constant availability and reliability of divine direction. Whether the trouble is large or small, God provides answers unrecognized by mere human reasoning. In the midst of diverse opinions, conflicting reports, and endless pros and cons, we can be sure of the best answer as we're willing to yield to the omniscience of the one Mind, to the one God who knows His offspring as He created them--as expressing the harmony and perfection of the divine order.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes: ``Prayer can neither change God, nor bring His designs into mortal modes; but it can and does change our modes and our false sense of Life, Love, and Truth, uplifting us to Him. Such prayer humiliates, purifies, and quickens activity, in the direction that is unerring.''2
We're not without help. As we're humbly receptive to divine direction, the way will become clear.
1John 5:30. 2No and Yes, p. 39. DAILY BIBLE VERSE When thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly....Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. Matthew 6:6,8