How safe are we?
IN a world that sometimes seems poised on the brink of disaster, how safe are we? This is a question that each of us eventually has to confront in his or her own life. I was driving alone one night to a dinner in the downtown section of a large southern city with a high crime rate. To reach my destination, I had to turn off a well-lighted boulevard and proceed along a dark street before turning back to the boulevard. As I made the turn, I realized that the man in the car behind me was following me. Suddenly, his car shot ahead of mine and came to an abrupt stop. To avoid a smashup, I also stopped.
The man stepped out of his car and came back to tell me that something, perhaps the fan belt, had dropped off my car. He lifted up the hood of the car.
While he was doing this, I stepped out and looked under the hood myself. The fan belt, I saw, was in place. I assured him the car was running fine and slid back behind the steering wheel. But before I could close the door, he pushed in beside me. He appeared to be suffering from some mental derangement.
At once I thought of the first verse of the ninety-first Psalm: ``He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.'' The words were so clear that I may even have repeated them aloud. Then a truth from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy flashed into my consciousness: ``Clad in the panoply of Love, human hatred cannot reach you.''1
Immediately I felt as though a shield had fallen around me. I knew beyond all doubt that this man could not harm me. I felt no fear, only a calm assurance. Firmly I told him to get out of my car. Slowly he did. As I locked the door and began to roll up the window, he turned back and said, ``Well, I won't try that again!''
What was the shield that protected me? Wasn't it the same God, Love, who had protected Daniel in the lions' den and the three men who were cast into the fiery furnace?2 I have asked myself this question many times, and the answer always is, ``It was God.'' I had put my trust in His supreme power, which excludes any semblance of evil.
We need to hold firmly to the truth that God is our protection. The Psalmist sang, ``Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.''3 Indeed the Bible is replete with promises that we are safe in God. We are assured that when we lie down, or when we come in or go out, we are protected. Our need is to understand the reality of God's care and to worship Him alone in order to demonstrate His protection. In truth, we're all governed by God, living in His allness and in His safety. Coming to feel this spiritual fact in prayer, and bringing our thoughts into harmony with divine law through ever-growing purity, we can gain the assurance that evil is not the power it appears to be. And we can prove its fraudulence, its powerlessness.
Mrs. Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes: ``Nothing is real and eternal, -- nothing is Spirit, -- but God and His idea. Evil has no reality. It is neither person, place, nor thing, but is simply a belief, an illusion of material sense.''4
A radical statement, yes. But it's based squarely on the Biblical teaching of one supreme, infinite, all-powerful God. The illusion of material sense would make us feel vulnerable and mortal. But the Bible tells us that man is made in God's image and likeness. Our real being is therefore immortal and always sustained and protected by our divine source. When we accept, even in a degree, the truth of spiritual being, we can turn to God in time of trouble and be lifted into ``the secret place of the most High,'' the consciousness of Spirit's allness, where evil cannot reach us.
1Science and Health, p. 571. 2See Daniel, chapters 3, 6. 3Psalms 91:9, 10. 4Science and Health, p. 71.
You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: Whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe. Proverbs 29:25