Should We Take God for Granted?
Bringing a spiritual perspective to world events and daily life.
MOST people don't like being "taken for granted," since it can so often imply that they're not valued or appreciated. But there's another side to being taken for granted. There are lots of lovely things that we take for granted, graceful trees, flowers, birds-indeed all the beauties of nature. We love them, are grateful for them, appreciate them, and, in the nicest way, we take them for granted-we expect them to be always beautiful.
I had the same expectation for reliability and permanence about my parents. I knew that whatever I needed, for as far back as I remember, if it was possible for them to supply it, they did so. I said with confidence, "Dad will fix that" or "Yes, Mummy will help me with this." This kind of being taken for granted really means that our children and friends know we are reliable.
We can learn to take God for granted in the same nicest way. We love God, reverence Him, are grateful to Him, and we know that He won't withhold any good thing from us, His children. We can rely on God with certainty and be assured-take for granted-that He is ever present to answer our prayers. Christ Jesus never doubted his Father's constant care. When he went to Lazarus's tomb, for example, Jesus was certain that God was present and being expressed. And Lazarus was restored to life! (See John, chap. 11.)
The Psalmist declares: "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty" (Psalms 91:1). This "secret place of the most High" is where we already dwell. We can confidently live in God's kingdom, and not feel we have to make a frantic effort to get there when problems arise.
I was vividly shown the importance of calmly expecting God's help one day when our eight-year-old son was cleaning his bicycle. He spun the wheel to clean the cog, and his fingers got caught and were damaged. It was a nasty sight-and for a moment my heart turned over. His four-year-old sister was sitting nearby, coloring some pictures in a book. She looked up, saw what had happened, and said confidently: "Don't worry, William, God will make it all better." And then she turned back to her book and calmly resumed her painting! At first I was astonished, but I knew she was a very loving child. It was not that she did not care about her brother but that she was so certain of God's care. The teaching she had had in the Christian Science Sunday School and the healings she had seen at home assured her that she could trust her brother, whom she dearly loved, to the Father's tender care. Her confidence prompted me to also be absolutely positive that God was present. William did this also. After we washed off the oil, he went back and finished cleaning his bicycle without a trace of a wound.
God, divine Love, is All. He is everywhere. He is closer and more dependable than the air we breathe. We take the air for granted; we know it is all around us-it is a natural thing. In like manner we can accept with reverence the omnipresence of God. We turn to Him in confident expectation of His loving care. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science, assures us in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures that God does answer prayer. She writes: "Are we benefited by praying? Yes, the desire which goes forth hungering after righteousness is blessed of our Father, and it does not return unto us void" (p. 2).
In Genesis, the Bible tells us that when Isaac's wife, Rebekah, was puz-zled "She went to inquire of the Lord" (25:22). We, too, can take our problems to God, knowing that He who is omnipresent Mind and ever available, is revealing to us constantly the path to take.
We don't have to waste time wondering what the future holds, or to be anxious about future events and developments. We can live our lives in the constant expectation of good from our loving, heavenly Father-taking for granted that His loving care will ever keep us safe in His kingdom of Love.