Safe in God's care
MANY Bible characters turned to God and sought His guidance, often in apparently impossible situations, and proved His care for man. We too can prove that our lives are not at the mercy of chance or circumstances. We can come to feel certain of God's protection. We're not really the vulnerable, fleshly beings we appear to be, and that's why we can find a reliable basis for safety. Because our true selfhood is the likeness of God, our creator, we're actually spiritual and perfect, though we appear to be something quite different. That God, Spirit, is caring for us and maintaining us in this state of spiritual perfection is a fact that we can prove, even if in small ways, in our everyday lives.
I found myself in a predicament one wet, stormy evening when a stone shattered my car windshield. My decision to drive slowly along the shoulder of the road and look for help was not a wise one, as the entire windshield collapsed inward on top of me. Helpless, covered with glass and unable to move, I turned to God in prayer and asked for His guidance. About one minute later a young man tapped on my window and offered to help me.
I was too afraid to move -- even my shoes had glass in them. Feeling that I was surrounded by a dangerous substance, I turned to God again and prayed. These words of Christ Jesus, referring to ``them that believe,'' came to thought: ``... if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them.''1
Even though the connection may seem remote, the story of Elisha, one of whose followers had collected herbs for pottage, flashed through my mind. By mistake, poisonous gourds had been included in the meal. ``O thou man of God,'' the people shouted, ``there is death in the pot.''2 Elisha cast some meal into the pot and the pottage was eaten without harm to anyone.
We might think of the meal as symbolizing Elisha's understanding of the truth about the situation, his trust in and understanding of God's supreme power over evil -- in this case over the conviction that God's offspring could be poisoned.
Learning a lesson from this story, I reasoned that I could not be touched by ``any deadly thing.'' Fear left me. I was able to get out of the car with the young man's assistance. I was uninjured and unharmed and later drove home safely.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: ``There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter.'' And she says further: ``Spirit is God, and man is His image and likeness. Therefore man is not material; he is spiritual.''3
Although it seems that the physical body constitutes our identity and that the conditions of that body govern us, we can gain dominion over those conditions as we realize that true being is totally spiritual, the outcome of the one God, who is Spirit. Man's actual, God-created identity is not subject to and cannot be victimized by dangerous conditions. Man is not subject to material forces or powers apart from God; they have no control over the child of God's creating. He is never out of God's care, which is constant.
Glimpsing these truths in prayer and beginning to feel and know their reality eliminate fear. By denying the apparent power and reality of the evidence presented by the five physical senses, and acknowledging what is spiritually true in a troubling situation, we can find protection and healing, as I learned in this instance. This is not a naive or unrealistic standpoint but a practical, beneficial one. It doesn't encourage us to ignore trouble but to face it with a conviction that God is governing man, regardless of the moment's appearances.
God is always available, as we can prove through prayer. By opening our thought to God and placing total reliance on Him, we discern the truths, the right ideas, we need in a particular situation. Our needs are met in appropriate and often unexpected ways. Living in harmony with the divine law to have one God, to let our thoughts and acts reflect the purity of Spirit, we can confidently know that we are never separated from His love and care.
1Mark 16:17, 18. 2II Kings 4:40. 3Science and Health, p.468.
You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: Quicken me, O Lord, according unto thy word....Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word....Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe. Psalms 119:107,114,117