God's Presence

EVEN a little knowledge of God's presence can make possible things that we might have felt were simply inconceivable. Remember the Biblical story of Moses? God had asked him to return to Egypt and lead the Israelites from captivity. Think how Moses might have felt. For one man to free an entire people must have looked like a daunting task! Many times Moses questioned God as to how all this would take place. ``My presence shall go with thee,'' God answered on one occasion, ``and I will give thee rest.''

Though we may sometimes feel otherwise, God isn't a Being who promises distant hope and peace and rest, and then stands off from our daily lives. When we look at what the Bible, including the story of Moses, has to say, we see that it was actually people's own actions that caused them to feel they were far from God's presence. The truth is (and was!), God's presence never left them, and when they turned wholeheartedly to God and let their lives show it, the power of His presence was demonstrated dramatically in their lives. When Moses himself stopped doubting (he had at first argued, ``Behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The Lord hath not appeared unto thee''), God's presence delivered the Israelites from physical harm, from thirst, from hunger. Such things revealed God as God is -- ever-present Love which cares for man.

God's presence never leaves us, either. And as we begin to understand this fact, we see its healing and transforming effects on our lives. Christ Jesus illustrated this when his sure knowledge of God's power and presence healed sickness and sin. Take, for example, the incident related in Mark. When a man who has been hopelessly blind suddenly sees perfectly, is there any question that Jesus' understanding of the presence of God has brought a sharply altered view of man and of the world to those present?

God's presence doesn't bring a divine influence to weak, trouble-prone mortal man. Instead, as we understand that God and His creation are all that can be present, we begin to see more clearly that man is never separated from God, divine Spirit. Because man is created in God's image, he is always in God's presence and must be wholly spiritual. This is the real foundation for the transforming and healing power of God's presence.

Fear, illness, difficulties of all kinds, operate on the assumption that mankind is born into the flesh and is prone to trouble. Further, they assume that he often cannot help himself, regardless of how good he is or how hard he tries. Our own knowledge of God's presence, though, shows us how we can help ourselves.

Of course, it helps to be alert to reject whatever would tend to shut out God's presence from our thought. Doing this isn't necessarily easy, but as we are persistent in our sincere efforts to understand our true nature as God's sinless child, we'll see increasing evidence of God's presence in our lives.

Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, assures us that because God is Life we can never be separated from this divine Life. What's more, Mrs. Eddy points out in one of her poems, ``The Mother's Evening Prayer,'' that God, Love, is always present, always caring for His creation:

O gentle presence, peace and joy and power;

O Life divine, that owns each waiting hour, Thou Love that guards the nestling's faltering flight!

Keep Thou my child on upward wing tonight.

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