WHEN reporting news of crime, accident or disaster, the media sometimes remark that the victims were in the wrong place at the wrong time. The implication is that individuals can be set up for misfortunes, that we have no choice but to submit our well-being to happenstance. Do we truly have to simply make the best of whatever misfortunes may occur, regardless of how unfair they may be?
Not according to what the Bible says! The actuality of God's care for His creation is found in this verse from Psalms, for example: ``Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever'' (23:6). The Bible assures us that it is impossible for man, the creation of a loving God, to be in the wrong place at any time. When we understand and accept it, the promise of good for man outlined in this verse provides us with dependable protection against any threat to our well-being.
Man is the spiritual idea of God and cannot be victimized by crime, accident, disaster--inharmonies of any sort. When we perceive our completely spiritual nature, we see that we have nothing to do with anything that is material, anything that is the opposite of Spirit, God. Inharmony is an illusion of the material senses. An understanding of all-powerful Spirit enables us to see illusions for what they really are--nothing. Spirit, which is real, and matter, which is illusion, can't coexist. Spirit is real, because it is God-created; matter is unreal, because it has no source in God, the only creator. Man can experience only that which God made. God created only good. And God knows nothing of matter and its inharmonies. Therefore, matter is neither credible nor real.
This isn't pie-in-the-sky posturing; it's demonstrable truth. Christ Jesus healed by realizing the basic nothingness of matter. He proved that God is All, that God and His spiritual kingdom include all that really exists. There is no place in God's realm for mortal mind and its related material mischiefs.
Jesus proved this many times, the Bible tells us. Luke records an incident when he healed ten men of leprosy (see 17:12-16). Mark tells how the disciples were saved from a violent storm (see 4:36- 39). Matthew reports that Jesus fed a crowd of thousands in the desert with only five loaves and two fish (see 14:15-20). Jesus did not accept the thought that anyone could be a victim of circumstances. He knew that man is protected and governed by his ever-loving, always-present God.
I've seen for myself the effectiveness of understanding that we can never be out of God's care. One winter morning I slipped on a snow-covered piece of ice while I was walking to work. I landed flat on my backside. Moments before, I had been praying to understand that God's children cannot be victims to hostage-takers, as the news reports were covering a hostage situation at that time. My first thought after the fall was that I could not be a hostage to accident; that I could not be in the wrong place (a frozen puddle) at any time. I got up and resumed walking with no injuries. I was so happy to have seen once again that God's, divine Love's, goodness governs my experience. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science, writes in her book The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany: ``Remember, thou canst be brought into no condition, be it ever so severe, where Love has not been before thee and where its tender lesson is not awaiting thee. Therefore despair not nor murmur, for that which seeketh to save, to heal, and to deliver, will guide thee, if thou seekest this guidance'' (pp. 149-150).
We can counter the belief that we can be in the wrong place, at the wrong time by understanding the fact that man is God-governed and therefore is always in his right place and the time is always right for good to occur in his experience. This man is God's man, the real man--our genuine individuality. As we embrace this concept of man and affirm it each time we are tempted to believe that anyone can be a victim of inharmony, we are protecting ourselves and those around us.
Each of us is always in the right place at the right time--in God's care--therefore we can only experience harmony. That's God's mandate for everyone!