AFTER settling down in a new region of the South Pacific, I saw clearly that some new lessons for weathering storms through prayer were headed my way. Typhoons, hurricanes, and tsunamis were not common in the place I had just moved from, so I wasn't prepared for the fear that accompanied forecasts of these types of disasters.
As many people throughout the world do, I pray daily. This gives me confidence, dominion, and peace throughout my day. Because prayer opens my thought to accept more of God's love and care, it seems as important to me as packing a well-balanced lunch for work.
One night, I woke in the wee hours of the morning. The thought came to me to pray. Feeling refreshed from a good night's rest, I did. After I had prayed for a half-hour or so, I got up, taking those inspired thoughts about God's presence and care with me, and went for a walk on the stretch of beach near our property. During the evenings, my wife and I would often take sunset strolls along this beach front before retiring for the night, so I was very familiar with the area.
More than anything else, I can remember the calm and reverence for God, the great I am, that I had in my heart as I walked. I thought about His creation and the perfect harmony and symmetry that belonged to this creation. The moon, the stars, even the beautiful waves coming in from the ocean, reflected and represented to me God's harmonious universe.
Another half-hour later, I was already climbing back into bed for a few peaceful hours of rest before work the next day. I felt content and grateful for the extra hour spent in prayer.
The next morning I woke to a totally different picture! A radio news bulletin announced a possible tsunami (tidal wave) headed right our way. Schools, city office buildings, even hospitals were shutting down. Sirens were going off every fifteen minutes, and everyone was asked to stay home until further notice. Only emergency workers were allowed to venture out. This picture was a far cry from what I had seen of God's peaceful, harmonious creation the previous night.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, says a lot about the constancy of God's goodness. Her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures makes this statement: ''In Science, you can have no power opposed to God, and the physical senses must give up their false testimony'' (p. 192).
A destructive tidal wave, then, could have no power because God is omnipotent good. I needed to hold on to the true facts of God's harmonious creation, and reject the false testimony of destruction and catastrophe. After praying this way for a few moments, I was convinced that God truly is the only creator and that He is unopposed good.
I saw that there was no need to doubt God's care for us that day. I remembered how Christ Jesus had calmed ''a great tempest in the sea'' (Matthew 8:24), showing his disciples-and us-that there is no power greater than God.
The Psalmist assures us: ''They cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still'' (Psalms 107:28, 29).
After several hours of waiting and praying, we found that only an extra foot of wave activity had been recorded on our beaches. The expected tsunami never arrived. All was well.
God's love and care had once again shown me the powerlessness of fear, hopelessness, and destruction.
I was grateful to have been awakened the night before to pray and understand more clearly God's perfect control over His creation. There can truly be no opposing force to God, good.
The floods have lifted up their voice;
the floods lift up their waves.
The Lord on high is mightier
than the noise of many waters,
yea, than the mighty
waves of the sea.
Psalms 93:3, 4