IT seems to be getting harder to know what's safe to eat. If food isn't treated with pesticides, we're told it's tainted with chemical sprays or additives. Even if the food is all right, it may be handled improperly. Yet few of us are in a position to grow and prepare our own food. What can we do? There remains at least one practical step that's available to everyone: to gain a better understanding of God as the source of life. This can give us the presence of mind to sort out fact from fiction and to make calm, reasonable decisions. The words of Job in the Bible can give us a good starting point: ``The Spirit of God hath made me,'' he declared, ``and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.''1
If food has the capacity to threaten life that it certainly seems to have, it would be more potent than God Himself. But the power of the Almighty is supreme, and it is loving and protective. Christ Jesus showed that it's God's will to care for His children. To feel this care, we can learn more about God and our relationship to Him, follow more closely the Master's example, and strive to overcome fear. And this certainly can relate to every aspect of our lives.
In a statement that shocked the Pharisees, Jesus announced, ``Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.''2 This flatly contradicted the traditional teaching. But Jesus wasn't idly ignoring the custom or the welfare of the people. He demanded of his followers a standard of thought and action that would encourage their receptivity to spiritual law and free them from the influence of limited theories or even harmful acts. What comes out of the mouth, he explained, comes from the heart; and then he listed activities that cloud man's purity and receptivity to the rule of divine law.
Jesus presented a model for thought and action. Drawing upon his example, Christian Science shows how purity and goodness actually align our thought with divine law. Just as Jesus relied on the immediacy of God's law in threatening circumstances, we can depend on it for health and protection today. Since God, the source of life, has all-power, He preserves life in the face of every challenge. Threats to our sustenance don't have their origin in God, divine Life. So we can turn to God to find the means and direction to overcome whatever would harm us.
Christ Jesus' clear recognition of evil's illegitimacy enabled him to triumph over its threats. Whether in the form of disease, hatred, or ignorance, evil didn't overwhelm him. Our conscientious prayers -- our affirmations of God's supremacy and denial of any other claim to power -- help us feel God's tender care in our daily lives, help us prove our spiritual defense against disease, hate, and contamination. Love for God, and faith in His love for man, shield us from harm. Prayer that recognizes God as the only power also helps counteract the hatred, frustration, ignorance, or carelessness that would motivate harmful acts.
Christian Science reveals that we are God's children. God-bestowed, spiritual life is our birthright. God-given dominion and fearlessness are ours. We experience these to the degree that we understand them in prayer.
Mastering fear is vital to Christian healing. We can begin to master fear and bring to any human situation a better understanding of God's law, which heals discord. The only true law is God's law. It never changes. God's love for His children, His power to preserve life, is unconditional.
An explanation of how understanding God's loving control dispels fear and brings healing is found in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. In this book the author, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, relates how Christian healing results through prayer. Mrs. Eddy writes, ``The fact is, food does not affect the absolute Life of man, and this becomes self-evident, when we learn that God is our Life.''3
A deepening realization of God's omnipotence brings increasing safety from what appear to be uncontrollable circumstances. For example, when the prophet Elisha was in Gilgal during a famine, someone shredded wild gourds into a pot of vegetables.4 As Elisha's companions began to eat, they discovered the gourds were poisonous and were very afraid.
Clearly, Elisha understood the power of God to preserve life. For when those around him obeyed his command to add meal to the pot, their fears were quieted. Though the food was fundamentally unchanged, when they resumed eating, the poisonous gourds didn't harm them.
Guided by the same divine law today, sheltered by the same divine Love, we too can either eat without fear for our safety or be guided rightly to bring about the necessary reform to protect the welfare of all. God is the foundation of life, and He lovingly and ably maintains all that He creates.
1Job 33:4. 2Matthew 15:11. 3Science and Health, p. 388. 4See II Kings 4:38-41.
The Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine, contains more articles about God's power to heal.
BIBLE VERSE: Jesus himself drew near, and went with them.... And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. Luke 24:15, 30