WE do not have to be exposed to the weather to encounter storms. Human experience is filled with them. We all feel weather-beaten and windblown at times. The wind of change brings about the splitting apart and breaking up of organizations and relationships we once relied on. Disease or death or disaster sometimes strike like lightning.
But hang on a minute! Some great, spiritually inspired leaders have said all along that we don't have to be victims. Moses made the bold and arresting statement "When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the Lord thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice . . . he will not forsake thee" (Deuteronomy 4:30, 31). Elijah the prophet found ways out of desperate situations. When the fiery-tempered Jezebel was seeking Elijah to kill him, he fled into the wilderness, so depressed that he wanted God to take his life. But he found his way through that stormy experience. And he learned that God is not in powerful material forces such as earthquakes, winds, and fires, but rather is in "a still small voice" within him. After that discovery, Elijah was obedient to this voice, and God's mission and purpose for him were revealed. His life was preserved from Jezebel (see II Kings, chap. 19).
Study of the Scriptures reveals that in atmospheric storms, as well as high- pressure living, God is always with us. God is Spirit. He is omnipresent and omnipotent. He is more powerful than any storm. And because man is His image, man is spiritual, not made materially. He has an unbreakable link with God. This gives us all the dominion over the earth that the Bible promises in Genesis (see 1:28).
Mary Baker Eddy discovered Christian Science. After studying the Bible and finding rules for demonstrating God's healing power, she taught students of Christian Science to distinguish between the material and the spiritual. She taught that Spirit, God, is the only real cause, and that man was created to do God's will. Obedience to God does give us power and strength. It is not surprising then that thunder-and-lightning experiences come when we are determined to have our own way. Influenced by the human mind, rather than by the divine Mind, we will be drawn hither and thither, often without realizing it. On the subject of hearing God's voice, Mrs. Eddy observed that there are only two possibilities. Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures says: "We are either turning away from this utterance, or we are listening to it and going up higher. Willingness to become as a little child and to leave the old for the new, renders thought receptive of the advanced idea" (pp. 323-324).
So how do we develop receptivity to God's voice? We can look to the life of Christ Jesus. He said, according to St. John, "I am the way, the truth, and the life" (John 14:6). Jesus was always telling people not to be afraid. He calmed a whole variety of storms-both literal tempests and the figurative storms of sin and disease. The healing and saving power of God that Jesus practiced is still with us today. Just as the Bible shows Jesus did, we also can turn away from any storm we are experiencing-turn to God in prayer and listen for the "still small voice." God's message will reveal itself to us in a way that we can understand. Everyone can attain the state of receptivity that brings spiritual intuitions, aligns thought with the laws of God, and brings healing and deliverance.
Once I was traveling in a small airplane that was in a storm. I felt sick, and desperate. I closed my eyes and prayed. In my prayer I declared to myself that I was not a mortal, battered by material forces, but was spiritual, the likeness of God. Then I listened. The thought came that God is Love, and I was in the atmosphere of this Love, which contained nothing evil. As I held on to this thought, the nausea I was feeling faded away. We landed safely.
The truth of spiritual being is the path through any storm you might encounter. Understanding this truth will prepare you to find the way.
You can find in-depth articles about Christian Science in The Christian Science Journal, a monthly magazine.