PROBABLY each of us at one time or another has experienced what could be termed a reversal. Things go along swimmingly, and then, all of a sudden--bang!--everything seems to fall apart. Perhaps it's something as small as quickly finding what we're looking for on a shopping trip, except for one item that we then spend hours searching for. Or perhaps a business proposal or project we've been working on is unexpectedly derailed. Whatever the particulars, we can be left feeling frazzled, disappointed, hurt, even angry.
Are we stuck with this? Do we have to capitulate to the vagaries of the world? Is our only recourse to lament our lot and stoically bear it? Or can such reversals be dealt with constructively and overcome?
Turning to the Bible provides answers. The Old and New Testaments contain numerous accounts of the apparent overturning of good by evil. Importantly, though, the Bible goes on to show that good can never actually be reversed.
Perhaps the most telling Biblical account of reversal involves Christ Jesus and his disciples when Jesus was arrested and executed. It would certainly appear that the good Jesus had brought to the world was snuffed out. Apparently even the disciples thought so. But then something wonderful happened that showed the power and permanence of good: Jesus rose triumphantly from the dead, proving that good cannot be reversed. Matthew's Gospel tells us that after Jesus exhorted his disciples to go on preaching a nd healing, he assured them: "And, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, explains in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: "His disciples believed Jesus to be dead while he was hidden in the sepulchre, whereas he was alive, demonstrating within the narrow tomb the power of Spirit to overrule mortal, material sense. Material sense had made the disciples and others think Jesus was dead and that good had been vanquished. But material sense was wrong! Mrs. Eddy, on the next page, points out the glorious im plication we can derive from the resurrection, which is valid for us today: "Glory be to God, and peace to the struggling hearts! Christ hath rolled away the stone from the door of human hope and faith, and through the revelation and demonstration of life in God, hath elevated them to possible at-one-ment with the spiritual idea of man and his divine Principle, Love.
If we think we have suffered a reversal, we can discover what the disciples did: good is not dead and cannot be overcome. We do not have to accept the tyrannical conclusions of the material senses, because Jesus' works, especially the resurrection, prove that those senses aren't in touch with what is really going on. But as we understand more fully that we are, in fact, "the spiritual idea of man, we too can prove that our life is in God, good itself, and so we cannot be deprived of good.
Does it look as if that cherished business project is gone forever? If it is truly good, it can't be. We may not see it taking shape exactly the way we had outlined--the disciples apparently didn't anticipate the crucifixion (or the resurrection!)--but this does not mean that good has been overcome. Good always gets expressed; it cannot be held back any more than a rock-sealed tomb could hold Jesus back.
Reversals are no part of life in God. We can prove this today, and we--and the world--will enjoy the benefits of ongoing good.