A lesson we keep on learning
WE can read in the Bible that ``God is love.''1 But what does this mean to us? Most people accept the fact that God is good and that He loves His children. Then why don't we always feel like loved children of God? So often we feel our lives are just the outcome of circumstances. But, if we are actually deeply loved by our creator and have a Father who bestows only good on us, this gives us a basis for living in a whole new way. Having been raised in a Christian Science family, I was taught from the very beginning that God is Love. This is not a lesson one finishes and moves on from, though. It is something that has infinite implications in our own and in everyone's life. It is something we must always strive to see more fully.
Because God is Love, infinite Love, He must be seen as the ever-available, unchanging source of all good. Man is created in His spiritual image. This means we are much more than we seem to be. On the surface it certainly doesn't appear that we are completely good or exempt from suffering. It appears that suffering is all around us. But if God is ever-present Love -- and He is -- and if our real being is His perfect image, we have a powerful, spiritual basis for refusing to accept suffering as legitimate. We have a solid basis for healing. God would never allow His beloved children to experience pain or lack, and through this understanding we can overcome these ills.
The Bible contains many accounts of the love and protection that those who turned to God found. For example, the children of Israel were cared for in their trek through the wilderness. When it appeared they were surrounded and had nowhere to go, Moses turned to God and the Red Sea parted through divine power. Later, heavenly manna fed them and water gushed from a rock.
It may sometimes seem that we are on a trek through a never-ending wilderness. As we struggle to find our way, if we start with the view of man that the physical senses give us, we may feel that there is no way out of the wilderness. But if instead we realize that we are actually the completely good, cared-for children of God, our way will begin to grow brighter. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: ``We apprehend Life in divine Science only as we live above corporeal sense and correct it. Our proportionate admission of the claims of good or of evil determines the harmony of our existence, -- our health, our longevity, and our Christianity.''2
One afternoon while at work I found myself feeling exhausted and ill. At first all I wanted to do was go to bed. It seemed like a reasonable desire, but I realized that if I yielded to it, I would be lending support to the belief that man can be separated from God's love. I saw that I could accept only one of these conclusions: either I would just have to endure the illness until it ran its course, or I could reject the pain and fatigue as not having God-derived reality or power. If God's love for me was a fact -- if my true selfhood was indeed His spiritual image -- I could not be governed even temporarily by a discordant physical body. I opted to reject the illness as illegitimate and to stand in the truth that God's love for me was the only reality. After about an hour the symptoms receded. I was able to finish my day at work and go on to fulfill other obligations that evening.
A New Testament epistle tells us, ``Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.''3 This is what we need to behold. We need to carry the sense of our sonship, of being beloved and safe in His care, with us as we go through our days. As we do this we feel the impact of these words from Science and Health: ``God is Love. Can we ask Him to be more?''4 Realizing the enormity of this statement and applying its truth, we don't need or want more.
1I John 4:16. 2Science and Health, p. 167. 3I John 3:1. 4Science and Health, p. 2.
You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee. Jeremiah 31:3