God's protecting arm

IT had been raining all morning. The road was slick. There were several family members in the car. I was at the wheel, driving slower than usual on a four-lane highway. Ahead of us a car skidded out of control and came to a stop, blocking half of our lane. Several of us in the car noticed the impending danger at about the same time. My sister called out, ``God is Love.'' My aunt, sitting behind me, braced herself. My response was a silent, mental ``no'' to the possibility of an accident.

I can't say that I exactly prayed. But I definitely felt the presence of God, divine Mind, impelling me to act intelligently. Two or three times I pumped the brakes to slow down. It was impossible to stop before reaching the car blocking our lane, but I had slowed enough to maneuver around it. Even with the wet pavement I was able to swerve left around the car. Looking in the rearview mirror, I noticed that the car blocking the road had straightened out and was proceeding safely too. There was no accident.

As we continued on our way, I heard a joyful ``Praise the Lord!'' from the back seat.

What was it that kept us calm and safe? Several things. For one, an understanding that God, good, is always with us. This idea is expressed vividly in the Scriptures. The Psalmist wrote, referring to God: ``Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?...If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.''1

As I was driving that day, I was aware of God's presence. I felt the power of divine Love steadying, guiding, my thought and action.

It's the Christ, the divine healing influence which Jesus lived so fully, that reveals God's presence. And the Christ dawns any time and anywhere there are receptive hearts.

What else helped us? An idea that's conveyed in the teachings of Christian Science: that accidents have no legitimate place in God's creation.

Why, then, do accidents happen at all? I have come to see that it's because we're not sufficiently awake to the spiritual reality of God's creation, to the power and supremacy of divine Principle. Perhaps we're believing that certain circumstances are beyond God's control. Or that our lives are governed by fallible people rather than unfailing Principle. This often appears to be the case. But appearances can be -- and in reality are -- superseded by the law of God, by the spiritual fact that man is God's offspring, governed harmoniously by his creator. The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, points clearly toward a healing response in the face of any threat to our well-being, though in this passage she refers specifically to disease: ``Stand porter at the door of thought. Admitting only such conclusions as you wish realized in bodilyresults, you will control yourself harmoniously. When the condition is present which you say induces disease, whether it be air, exercise, heredity, contagion, or accident, then perform your office as por ter and shut out these unhealthy thoughts and fears.''2

My spontaneous ``no'' to the possibility of an accident was an endeavor to do just that. The rejection of evil made me more responsive to the presence of God.

One more idea helped protect us on the road, an idea found both in the Bible and in the writings of Mrs. Eddy. It's this: that man, as the child of Spirit, actually moves within the safety of God's embrace. Although it appears that we're physical beings, moving in matter and subject to injury, consecrated prayer and our spiritual sense of things reveal a higher view. We discover, gradually, that our true, God-created identity is spiritual and lives securely in the allness of Love. What is this incorporeal identity? It's the embodiment of good. It's constituted of Godlike qualities such as joy, strength, wisdom, and love.

When we travel, we're not moving outside the bounds of infinite Love. All right activity can be seen to take place under God's tender care. The Apostle Paul brought out this idea when preaching to the Athenians. He said, ``In him [God] we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.''3

Wasn't it the infinitude of Spirit, of divine Love, encompassing all, that kept several drivers and many passengers safe on the road that rainy day? I can see now that it was.

The spiritual truth of God's ever-presence and of man's security in Spirit is available to us always. We can consciously turn to it and trust it. As we do, safe travel will be more firmly established for all.

1Psalms 139:7, 9, 10. 2Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 392. 3Acts 17:28. - NO BIBLE VERSE TODAY -

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