A FRIEND had a poster that said, as I remember, ``Whatever can go wrong will go wrong.'' It was intended to be humorous, and we all got a chuckle out of it, because we'd all had days when it seemed as if everything possible went wrong. But not long ago I noticed that I had unthinkingly accepted this point of view far more than I realized. And I asked myself, Do I really want to believe that evil is more powerful than good?
When the proposition was put like that, I knew that I wanted no part of such self-fulfilling defeatism. As a Christian Scientist I had learned that God is good and omnipotent. Nothing is more powerful than God; in fact, nothing is real but God and His spiritual -- entirely good -- creation.
The twenty-third Psalm, for example, likens God to a Shepherd who guards, guides, and watches over His sheep. No matter what evil threatens, no harm comes to God's child. ``Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,'' the Psalmist sang, ``I will fear no evil: for thou art with me.... Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.''1
This, however, doesn't always appear to be the situation in our lives. Evil so often seems to be in control and inevitable. But we can challenge the fatalism that would accept this lie. How?
The Bible counsels us: ``Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.''2 The implication in the Scriptures is that the devil, evil, is not irresistible. Evil is truly powerless as we come to know God, the only power, and refuse to go along with evil. Our need is always to submit to God's power alone.
Mary Baker Eddy, the woman who discovered and founded Christian Science, states in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: ``Mankind must learn that evil is not power. Its so-called despotism is but a phase of nothingness.''3 And later she urges us: ``Rise in the strength of Spirit to resist all that is unlike good. God has made man capable of this, and nothing can vitiate the ability and power divinely bestowed on man.''4
Resisting evil is not always easy. Sometimes we must battle mightily, but as we are persistent and steadfast in our efforts, evil -- which has no real power -- must be vanquished.
A small experience we had in our family helped me see how to resist evil by submitting to the power of God's goodness. Our two oldest daughters were participating in a production. Two days before the performances began, both girls became ill. It certainly seemed to be a perfect example of anything possible going wrong!
I quickly reminded myself that God -- not evil -- was in control of our lives. I resisted the notion that it was somehow to be expected or accepted that evil will always appear at the worst possible moment. And as I prayed, it became clear to me that evil is never legitimate, natural, or acceptable. It should always be rebelled against as having no authority over God or His children.
The illness was healed quickly, and the children were free to participate fully in the performances.
What freedom and joy we find as we come to understand God as the true law of our being. His law is universal, omnipotent, harmonious, and blessed. When we yield to God's control, we can expect things to go right.
1Psalms 23:4, 6. 2James 4:7. 3Science and Health, p. 102. 4Ibid., p. 393.