A SIGN I've seen in an elevator tells passengers what to do if the elevator becomes stuck between floors. It begins by stating ''Know that God is with you!'' The sign reminded me of a verse from Deuteronomy in the Bible: ''The Lord your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you'' (20:4). There are lots of times when it's a good idea to realize God's presence-and not just when you're trapped in an elevator!
I found it easier to trust God to be with me when I learned more of His true nature as our ever-loving Father-Mother and applied what I had learned to my life-no matter what trouble came up. Christ Jesus, the foremost Teacher about God, taught that man-our real, spiritual selfhood-dwells in the kingdom of God. And man, the spiritual idea of an all-caring God, can confidently call on his creator's ever-presence and power at all times. There's no place where God isn't at hand and, thus, there's no plac e where His wisdom isn't functioning to lead us out of a troubling situation.
The Bible offers many illustrations of God's power to save and heal. For instance, Mark's Gospel tells how Jesus and his disciples were threatened with drowning when their boat was caught in a violent storm on the Sea of Galilee. The disciples were filled with fear for their lives, but Jesus calmed the storm by commanding the waves ''Peace, be still'' (4:39). His understanding of God's goodness freed everyone. As Jesus knew that God was with him, so we can know that the same God is with us to keep u s from becoming trapped in a situation that has no escape. We can take our cue from the Master and listen through prayer for the answers we need to lead us out of difficult situations.
Prayer based on an understanding of God's goodness calms our thinking and enables us to hear and follow God's direction. God, divine Mind, provides only harmony for His children. And God's man lives in the atmosphere of Spirit because he is entirely spiritual. Man as the image and likeness of God isn't confined to a material body that can become embroiled in adverse situations.
This means that because we are actually spiritual, we dwell in God's care. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science, writes in her Miscellaneous Writings: ''Immortal man is the eternal idea of Truth, that cannot lapse into a mortal belief or error concerning himself and his origin: he cannot get out of the focal distance of infinity'' (p. 79).
Years ago a teenage friend invited me to go with her to a party given by someone she hadn't seen for a few years. After arriving, we saw that there was no adult supervision. I soon learned that a lot of drinking was going on, and we were expected to participate. I felt trapped. I couldn't see any way out. But as a student in a Christian Science Sunday School I had learned to ask God for guidance through prayer. So I prayed to know that God was with me wherever I was, and that He wouldn't dese rt me at this-or any-time. I reached the point where I could rejoice that I reflected God's wisdom and that I could count on it to protect me. Then I asked God what to do. I couldn't see how my friend and I could leave without causing embarrassment to the hostess or being ridiculed by the others there. But that was what I was impelled to do: leave the party. My concerns about leaving lessened when I realized that listening to God would show me how best to extricate myself from this experie nce. My friend and I told the hostess that we weren't comfortable with what was going on and asked to be excused. She didn't attempt to detain us, and we left quietly. During the drive home, we felt we had been liberated from the temptation to compromise our standards. This experience proved to me that only harmony is right for God's children. That's a fact that, when understood and accepted, protects us from being trapped.
God's help always is at hand. Whether or not there's a posted notice like the one in the elevator to alert us to the presence of God, He is there. And we can call on Him at any time!
The truth shall make you free.