After the storm

THE floodwaters have receded. We've come through what threatened to inundate us. What now? How we proceed may well depend on how we perceive what has happened in our lives. If we focus thought on the possibly frightening, physically or emotionally distressing nature of the challenge we've faced, we may feel scarred by the past, fatigued in the present, and fearful of the future. But we have an alternative. We can consider the fact that we survived and ask, ``What does the fact of my survival reveal about this experience? Perhaps we discovered in the storm that we had the spiritual resources es-sential to stand steadfast and endure till the storm passed. We had the courage, strength, and resilience necessary to weather its impact, as well as the wisdom and perspicacity essential to keep going.

The presence of these resources indicates something even deeper within, something we may not have acknowledged: an awareness of God's love for us, a conviction of His care. Acknowledging God's sustaining presence now, even if we were not aware that it was He who carried us through, can leave us whole and rested.

Rather than feel scarred and fearful, we can find in ourselves a strengthening conviction that God's will for us is good. We can glimpse something of the fact that our true being, as God's spiritual likeness, has never been touched by evil, never been separated from His provision. This higher view of creator and creation, though contradicted by appearances, brings with it healing in the deepest, truest sense.

Our discovery of God-derived resources carries with it a precious opportunity to be exercised in the storm's aftermath -- an opportunity that can turn us away from fatigue and fear. We can express the divine nature, call upon God's spiritual resources, to benefit mankind. So doing, we are lifted higher as well.

Let's consider the aftermath of Jesus' crucifixion. Through his unshakable conviction of his Father's sustaining presence, Jesus rose from the tomb of the carnal thought's rejection of Christ. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes: ``The nature of Jesus made him keenly alive to the injustice, ingratitude, treachery, and brutality that he received. Yet behold his love! So soon as he burst the bonds of the tomb he hastened to console his unfaithful followers and to disarm their fears.''1

After his crucifixion, his disciples were tempted to revert to outgrown ways of thinking and previous careers. They thought their hopes and new careers as ``fishers of men'' had been snatched away by the storm their Master faced. Indeed, Jesus found them fishing at the sea of Tiberias.2

But Jesus urged them forward, helping them discover within themselves those same God-derived resources that had enabled him to endure the cross and to find release from the tomb. Jesus' experience gave them a higher, spiritual perception of his teachings and strengthened their trust in God's omnipotence. Thus, despite the storms they faced as they followed in his way, they were able to nurture and strengthen others, teaching and healing in the name of Christ. History affirms their renewed efforts and the regeneration of lives that followed in the wake of those efforts.

The book of Revelation speaks of those ``which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb,'' adding: ``Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple.... They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.''3 Truly, our greatest joy is in living lives of service to God. And as we do, we are fed, sheltered, and comforted.

To serve God by sharing what we have learned of His sustaining love for His children is the most significant investment we can make. Filled with the hope of such sharing, we will have little time or inclination to dwell depressingly on the storm just past. Rather, we will be alert to God-given opportunities to comfort and strengthen others. And we will realize the promise of Mrs. Eddy's observation ``The highest and sweetest rest, even from a human standpoint, is in holy work.''4

1Message to The Mother Church for 1902, pp. 18-19. 2See John 21:1-6. 3Revelation 7:14-16. 4Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, pp. 519-520.

You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: Thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee. Psalms 9:10

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