SOME floods challenge whole communities, like last year's deluge overflowing the banks of the Mississippi River in the United States. Other floods are more personal. Maybe we feel as if we're faced with a flood of physical ills, a flood of demands on our time or on our financial resources.
Whatever flood we're facing, Noah's story--found in the book of Genesis in the Bible--is instructive. It indicates how facing a flood can bless us. Genesis tells us how Noah obeyed directions from God to build an ark in which to save his family from the coming deluge. ``The waters increased,'' we read, ``and bare up the ark, and it was lift up above the earth'' (7:17). Noah had to build the ark faithfully. But the flood, when it came, proved the value of what he had constructed.
Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, describes a spiritual ark that we can-- and should!--be prayerfully constructing. Part of Mrs. Eddy's description of this ark is ``safety; the idea, or reflection, of Truth, proved to be as immortal as its Principle; the understanding of Spirit, destroying belief in matter'' (p. 581).
Through prayer we can increase our understanding of God, good, and of His spiritual creation, including man. Prayer that starts with the recognition of God's allness as infinite Spirit, and that discerns man's true identity as God's image and likeness, shows us a spiritual haven of safety and immunity, freeing us from susceptibility to material beliefs. In this Christly awareness of man's immortality as God's idea--which Christ Jesus so completely proved--we perceive our God-given safety from being overwhelmed by worldly thoughts, words, and actions. Then whatever trial occurs, it can only serve to prove the validity of the idea of Truth we are embracing. To put it another way, when through diligent prayer we have ``built'' our spiritual ark, it can float, and it will float, however deep are the waters it is required to float on. Actually it is our ark of spiritual-mindedness that holds us above floods of trouble.
I learned this when I felt God-guided to accept a post that some individuals thought it wrong for me to fill. It seemed to me as though I were facing flood-waves of antagonism. I turned to God in wholehearted prayer. My prayer was to be able to hold solidly to the true, spiritual view of man as meek and Love-reflecting, whatever the thoughts or words of anyone would seem to suggest to the contrary. Opposition came to the surface very vocally in a way that I hadn't anticipated at a meeting I was chairing. In the ark of my prayer- prepared thought, however, I found myself lifted to a spiritual clarity that empowered me not to react personally. This, I gratefully realized afterward, was crucial for the sake of us all, so that nobody would get drawn into angry and unfruitful argument. I went on to fill my new post unhindered.
``Trials,'' Mrs. Eddy assures us in Science and Health, ``are proofs of God's care'' (p. 66). Our prayers prepare our heart to recognize that in reality God sends no floods, and sanctions no distressing situations for His beloved creation, man. His law is sufficient to help us meet all trials with dominion.
Overcoming challenges through prayer proves this. And we can expect spiritual growth and progress to be uncovered as the floodwaters themselves inevitably recede.
The Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine, contains more articles about God's power to heal.
The voice of the Lord
is upon thewaters
the God of glory thundereth:
the Lord is upon many waters.
The voice of the Lord is powerful;
the voice of the Lord
is full of majesty. . . .
The Lord sitteth upon the flood;
yea, the Lord
sitteth King for ever.
Psalms 29:3, 4, 10
God sends no floods, and His law is sufficient to help us meet all trials with dominion.