THE minute I woke up, I knew I was in trouble. It was difficult and painful getting to a sitting position on the side of the bed. Immediately I turned to God for help. The first thought that came as I prayed surprised me; it was the First Commandment, ``Thou shalt have no other gods before me.''1 Since all idols are not carved in wood or stone, I began to search for any false gods or trusts in my thought. I recalled how staunchly Daniel (see Daniel, chapter 6) and the three young Hebrew men (see Daniel, chapter 3) refused to worship any but the one God. Daniel came out of the lions' den without a scratch, and Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out of the fire withoutbeing harmed in any way. Their faithwas vindicated, and their God was glorified by those who witnessed their deliverance.
Describing the intensity of the heat in the furnace, the writer says, ``The flame of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego.'' I asked myself why the flame did not consume the Hebrew men. It was the same furnace, the same day, and apparently all conditions were the same. There had to be a difference, and as far as I could determine, the difference was their beliefs. The soldiers believed in the power of the fire. The three Hebrew captives believed fervently that God was more powerful than anything else, and they were protected -- not from being thrown into the furnace but from being harmed right in the midst of the flame. What a practical demonstration of the indestructible relationship between God and man! This was clear proof that God is omnipotent and omnipresent, that He is ``a very present help in trouble.''2
I was familiar with how the Bible compares the tender, loving nature of God to a shepherd always protecting his sheep, and how it speaks of God as a loving Father providing for all the needs of His children. I could feel the presence of that divine Love comforting and caring for me.The fear just dissolved. Then I couldreason more clearly and calmly and pray more effectively.
When our health or well-being is broken or attacked, there is the temptation to believe in a presence, power, or law capable of overruling God's supremacy. Or we may be tempted to think that God isn't willing to save us. So when the only way to be free of back pain was to lie in bed and be still, I felt that my understanding of and faith in God's omnipotence were being challenged.
Pain and suffering cannot be the products of a God who is Love, or even exist in the presence of God -- just as light and dark cannot coexist. I reasoned that obedience to the First Commandment required that I acknowledge God, Love, as omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient. It required that I acknowledge no cause or creator but God. This was not wishful thinking. As a Christian Scientist I had experienced many healings through prayer based on that understanding. I was confident that as long as I harbored no strange god in my consciousness, I could rely on this promise in Isaiah: ``I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no saviour. I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, that I am God.''3 Bearing witness to the healing, saving grace of God is certainly being obedient to the First Commandment.
I continued to pray and refused to acknowledge any power, presence, cause, or creator except God. I held to my conviction of God's tender care for me. Imagine my gratitude and rejoicing when I woke the morning of the fourth day to find the pain, in fact the whole trouble, completely gone! I was able to move about freely, doing everything that I wanted or needed to do.
Later I read in the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy,4 ``The divine Principle of the First Commandment bases the Science of being, by which man demonstrates health, holiness, and life eternal.''5 I realized I had, to some degree, experienced the truth of that statement.
1Exodus 20:3. 2Psalms 46:1. 3Isaiah 43:11, 12. 4The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. 5Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 340. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker. For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. Psalms 95:6,7