PROBABLY we have all had times in our lives when we've doubted our ability to cope, to do what was necessary. We may conceal such inner worrying, but this doesn't resolve the uncertainty that can undermine even our best efforts. Prayer, however, and trusting in God's power provide the necessary assurance and ability that enable us to do what we need to.
The first time I had to tackle an activity where I felt very inadequate, and not just avoid it, was when I had to speak before a large audience. I had always thought of myself as shy. So when I knew I would have to do this, I talked about my fears with a trusted friend, who was a Christian Scientist. He reminded me of the Apostle Paul's counsel to the Philippians: "It is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure. I saw that even though I didn't feel adequate on my own, I could turn to God and He would help me. So I did what I was assigned to do, even though it still wasn't easy for me, because I was sure I could trust in God, in divine Truth and Love.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, gives us strengthening counsel in her book Pulpit and Press. She writes: "Know, then, that you possess sovereign power to think and act rightly, and that nothing can dispossess you of this heritage and trespass on Love. . . . Our surety is in our confidence that we are indeed dwellers in Truth and Love, man's eternal mansion.
Because God has created man, man is spiritual, the likeness of God, Spirit. And man--our genuine selfhood--reflects his ability and power from God, his creator. The Bible furnishes ample proof of this. Moses, for example, had to overcome feelings of inadequacy. The book of Exodus tells us that when God called Moses to speak on His behalf, Moses doubted his ability until God assured him that he would have the spiritual authority he needed. The Bible records God's words: "Now therefore go, and I will be wi th thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.
This presence and power of God to guide His creation permeates the Bible's message. And, of course, we have the incomparable example of Christ Jesus, who was always certain that God inspired and directed his mission. As we take hold of the Bible's message, we begin to see that we can be confident of our ability to express good in all our activities and pursuits because we see that God has given us the ability to express His goodness. Our usefulness and productivity increase as we conform more and more to
the real, spiritual self that is our true identity. Re- afirming our sonship with God and beholding our true selfhood as His pure likeness, help us to uncover our innate ability to be good and do good.
The light of Truth enables us to see the perfection man has always possessed. Giving up a false, mortal concept of existence as limited and vulnerable to failure enables us to embrace the actual, spiritual understanding of what man is and does. When we do this, daily living becomes joyous. The perception of spiritual truth, the recognition of one's real identity as the reflection of Spirit, lifts thought to spiritual conviction and understanding.
Who can utterly fail when Spirit, God, is the source of all capacity, ability, and action? We master doubt, failure, limitation, as we perceive the spiritual fact that since nothing is impossible to God, nothing right is beyond the capacities of His reflection, man.
A clearer recognition of God and of our relationship to Him is fundamental to real surety and success. This is where we really begin to understand why we can do what is right and essential for us to do in life and to realize something of the practical effect of understanding our God-created wholeness and capacities.