'And God Divided . . .'

Bringing a spiritual perspective to world events and daily life.

For anyone looking around today, it often appears that creation has gone a bit askew. It looks like evil has overcome good in many instances and is quickly threatening what's left. Many people believe that at one time God made everything perfect, but . . . then Adam and Eve were disobedient; then Cain committed fratricide; then there was a great fall, and so forth.

Yet, there are these important words at the beginning of Genesis: "And God divided the light from the darkness" (1:4).

Getting the deeper significance of these eight words can help us. These words concern you and me because the general belief that good and evil coexist often governs our every thought, our every act. And yet God is solely good. There is no amalgamation of what God made (which is real) with what He didn't make (which is false). There is no coexistence of good and evil, and this is true even though it appears that there is a mixture.

God's creation, including you, is already perfect, as the first chapter of Genesis says. God's work is finished and was perfect from the beginning.

Christian Science, which elucidates the Bible, is based especially on the teachings of Christ Jesus. Through them we learn that God is pleased with what He has done, and that it is good. This is the truth of your existence.

Contrary to common belief, there are not two states of existence, material and spiritual. In actuality there is only one, and it is spiritual. Since the spiritual is true, then everything that appears to be material is what God "divided," or precluded, from His creation. Accepting this as fact, we see more and more that all that has been done has been done perfectly and must be maintained and sustained in its original, spiritual perfection.

Right here, right now, creation is to be witnessed as perfect. And this takes us even further in understanding something profound: God didn't need to divide good and evil, because He didn't create something apart from good. When we turn to Him for a deeper understanding of reality, our thoughts and experiences improve.

Dividing the real from the unreal in your own life means turning to God and to these facts. Learning to look beyond illnesses, fears, whatever is disturbing us, is the only way to begin seeing the facts of God. We see then that we are already separated from evil.

Put simply, prayer is the activity of finding out what God has already done. This isn't just theory; it has proofs. For example, my son suddenly fainted one day at school. He revived quickly, but was left feeling afraid he could faint again at any time, in any place. He confided this fear to me each morning before school, and as a Christian Scientist I reassured my son that God was always with him, always caring for him.

Then one day I sat down to pray about the fear that had my son so upset. In my prayer I reasoned that God had made this child spiritual-perfect. I began to understand better that God maintains His children. A statement from a book by Mary Baker Eddy, the woman who discovered Christian Science, came to me. It was this: "The divine understanding reigns, is all, and there is no other consciousness" (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 536). I saw how God had already separated, precluded, fear from being part of this child, as well as any physical difficulty that might have caused the fainting. I understood God to reign, to be All. God was not only in control now, but had always been in control. There never was a moment when my son had been out of God's care. This is how prayer led me to understand that God had already "divided the light from the darkness."

Well, after that day my son never mentioned being afraid of fainting again, and he never fainted again either.

Once more, the underlying truth is that there never was a need for God to divide anything. Still, to human view there appears to be both good and evil, and thus there is a need to learn how to discern what's really true-what's really of God, just as I was able to do when praying for my son. This discernment is possible because God's power and presence preclude all that is wrong-in thought and in life.

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