Loved by God

AT one time I had lost sight of God's love for me. Ongoing opposition and sharp criticism had left me feeling distraught and resentful. Some distressing news added to my discouragement. I felt cut off from all good and very lonely. I felt impelled to rush to the nearest shopping center just to be among people.

Once there, however, I realized that this was not the solution. I needed to turn to God for help. Right there, I began reaching out in prayer, trying to get a better understanding of God's presence and all-embracing care. I reminded myself of the familiar words from the first chapter of Genesis "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness . . . . So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

I could see that because God is good and perfect, His image--my genuine, spiritual selfhood--likewise has to express goodness and perfection. Because God is Spirit, it follows that man in His likeness must be spiritual too. Certainly, God's image could not be unlike its original. Nor could man's real selfhood as God's image ever for an instant be separated or cut off from its divine source.

I also reasoned that because God, the one Mind, doesn't feel lonely, man--which meant me--could not reflect such feelings. A thought suddenly struck me. The Bible says many times that God is One, and Isaiah points out that "there is none else. Yet we instinctively know that God is not alone or lonely. And why does God, the only Mind, not feel alone? The answer is quickly apparent: because His universe, His spiritual creation, continuously expresses His infinitude and harmony. Seeing this helped me feel c loser to God, and as a result my intense loneliness faded. Even the resentment and discouragement I'd been feeling were washed away as I realized God's love for me.

Man is God's highest expression of Himself. How precious each one of us is in our heavenly Father's sight! How He delights in His perfect creation! The book of Isaiah expresses God's love for His creation in these words: "This people have I formed for myself; they shall show forth my praise.

And in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes: "God, without the image and likeness of Himself, would be a nonentity, or Mind unexpressed. He would be without a witness or proof of His own nature. Spiritual man is the image or idea of God, an idea which cannot be lost nor separated from its divine Principle.

In a sense, we could say, God needs us as much as we need God. In Spirit, each one has a unique purpose, and that is the purpose of expressing God's many attributes, such as wisdom, kindness, order, strength, beauty. Every individual, as God's loved child, has been endowed with the specific talent of reflecting spiritual qualities. No one is left out of divine Love's plan; each fills a niche no one else can fill.

A greater awareness, then, of our worth as God's beloved children can help us overcome a variety of difficulties, including loneliness or a sense of futility. Our task is to become more conscious of our Father-Mother's great love and care for us.

Our reason for being is to glorify God. Therefore, by yielding to Spirit, our one Mind, for guidance, we'll find what is our true purpose in life and our rightful place in God's dear family.

The Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine, contains more articles about God's power to heal.

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