God is incomparable good. This fact can sometimes seem buried in an avalanche of tragedy, but that is the very time to trust Him most.
When I was young, I learned about God's goodness in Sunday School. I also remember being at summer camp, sitting around a fire and singing a song about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. For me it held a powerful, inspiring message. They were three men who were thrown into a "fiery furnace" by King Nebuchadnezzar. The king had made "an image of gold" for his people to worship. But Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego all refused to worship this idol. For this, the king ordered them thrown into the fire.
Because Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego staunchly trusted in and were loyal to God, their pure faith protected them from harm. Not only were they not burned, but the Bible says in Daniel that not even "the smell of fire had passed on them" (3:27).
As wonderful as the story was to me, the suffering apparent in the world seemed to trivialize God's power. What about disasters in the headlines? God's care for His children seemed arbitrary, distant, and unpredictable to me-if not relegated to the past.
Later I found Christian Science. It taught me, and still teaches me, that one can find more good in life today, when he or she understands better that God is good and is unchangeable. The Discoverer of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, wrote a book called Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, a companion to the Bible that explains how and why God -- a God of absolute love -- is trustworthy in today's world. We read on page 243: "The divine Love, which made harmless the poisonous viper, which delivered men from the boiling oil, from the fiery furnace, from the jaws of the lion, can heal the sick in every age and triumph over sin and death."
Whether a problem is financial, physical, job-related, or global, it is spiritual understanding -- the knowledge of God -- that allows His goodness to appear in forms of resolution. Examples given in the Bible of how Christ Jesus lived show that he was always able to overcome evil with good. Jesus took a stand for all men's and women's inalienable right to be the good sons and daughters of God. He proved over and over the truth of creation from Genesis, "And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good" (1:31).
According to Christian Science, or the Science of Christ, man is the spiritual expression, the reflection, of God's nature. The incomparable goodness of God is with us today, as surely as it was in times past.
After I was grown I had a healing that demonstrated to me how an understanding of God is relevant today. It was a beautiful Saturday morning, and I had a taste for pancakes and bacon. So I got out my electric skillet and began cooking the bacon. As the meat sizzled and cooked, grease collected. To remove the grease, I used a bulb baster. But the bulb released too early, and the searing hot grease poured all over my hand.
This could have been a disfiguring accident. But it was not so. Things happened fast, but I remember thinking immediately of the lesson of the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. I also began thinking of the power of God's love and care for me. This is a good power -- the great and only real power. The grease that should have felt hot and searing, and that would be expected to have burned my hand, simply felt to me like hand lotion. No injury occurred. This was certainly a modern-day example of what trust in God's incomparable goodness can achieve.
This small lesson can be written large on the world. Just as God was all-powerful good yesterday, so is He today. Just as God's goodness is here for me, so it is here for you, too. God is so good, so loving, that understanding His nature can cast out evil of every sort.
When thou passest through the
waters, I will be with thee . . .
when thou walkest through the fire,
thou shalt not be burned; neither
shall the flame kindle upon thee.