Healing fear of the future
IT'S easy sometimes to become preoccupied with concern for the future. We want to know how -- or even if -- some problem will work out, and so may find ourselves anxiously wondering about the outcome. Christ Jesus must have recognized the tendency of the human mind to rivet attention on the future. He once told his followers, ``Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.''1 Referring to this verse, a Bible commentary quotes the Revised Version of the Bible: ``Be not anxious.'' And the commentary goes on to say, ``Our Lord regarded cheerfulness and joy, and the absence of care and anxiety, as the mark of a true Christian who puts his trust in God.''2
To Christ Jesus, life was not a gamble. He was so absolutely certain of the Father's love and care that he expected to see evidence of God's goodness. He stilled a violent storm while at sea, fed a hungry multitude when only a few loaves and fishes were available, and restored health to countless individuals. His life and consistent healing works show that God's will for His children is predictably good and that one's future safety, health, provision, are ensured by cultivating a present trust in God.
We trust God as we come to know Him -- in much the same way that we trust a friend as we find that individual to be loving and true. In accord with the Bible, Christian Science teaches that God is changeless, ever-present divine Love. He is always true to His nature as Love, always trustworthy. He couldn't possibly be less loving or less available in the future than He is right at this moment. His children -- you and I as God has actually made us -- are Godlike, spiritual, eternally safe in the Father's care. St. Paul assures us that neither ``things present, nor things to come...shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.''3
A feeling of security accompanies a growing understanding of God. As we draw closer to Him, humbly listening for and obeying His guidance, we sense that He is supporting us. We come to feel that our lives are in God's hands and that we can look forward with joy to the fulfillment of His plan. A hymn from the Christian Science Hymnal expresses this thought beautifully: Lord, my times are in Thy hand: All my sanguine hopes have planned, To Thy wisdom I resign, And would mold my will to Thine. Thou my daily task shalt give; Day by day to Thee I live; So shall added years fulfill Not my own, my Father's will.4
No circumstance can arise that is beyond the reach of divine Love's healing power. If we are concerned about a much-cherished relationship, a career-related decision, or our physical wellbeing, we can begin now to overcome fear and to find a solution through prayer.
Overcoming fear is not always an easy task. It means accepting the fact of God's all-power and constant presence, often in the face of alarming evidence to the contrary. It means -- quite literally -- disbelieving what the material senses are conveying as real and true, and striving to keep our thought on what is coming to us from God through prayer. In the sanctuary of communion with the Father we are able to perceive our spiritual exemption, as His children, from anything unlike Him; we are able to denounce fear and so be receptive to divine Love's healing messages.
Prayer based on an understanding of God as Love is not only comforting; it is also effective in harmonizing and adjusting the human condition. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes: ``What a glorious inheritance is given to us through the understanding of omnipresent Love! More we cannot ask: more we do not want: more we cannot have. This sweet assurance is the `Peace, be still' to all human fears, to suffering of every sort.''5
Because God is an ever-present help, we don't need to be anxious about tomorrow. As we trust ourselves to His care and follow His guidance, our needs will be met moment by moment.
1Matthew 6:34. 2J. R. Dummelow, ACommentary on The Holy Bible (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1936), p. 649. 3Romans 8:38, 39. 4Hymnal, No. 46. 5Miscellaneous Writings, p.307.
You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. Psalms 37:23