A young boy approached me as I walked past my city's convention center one day. Looking at me tearfully, he asked if I knew where his mother was. Questioning him, I learned he had become separated from his big brothers while at a large Boy Scout meeting.
"Why are you looking for them outside?" I asked.
"It's too crowded to see anything in there," he said. We went inside and found an area set aside for lost children. Soon he was reunited with his family. I couldn't blame him for having wanted to do his searching outside the building; it certainly made looking easier, even if it meant he wasn't likely to find them.
Often when we are searching in our own lives for health, employment, security, it is easier to look in the wrong places. It can seem that health is found in the patching up of a physical body; that happiness lies in receiving more support from a companion; that taking drugs will ease pain. But even if these approaches help today, there's no guarantee they will also work tomorrow.
Permanent solutions to our problems can never be found in these places. We are meant to have health, happiness, and comfort, and there are answers. But the answers must be found by turning to God.
One time the disciples of Christ Jesus were looking in the wrong place to find physical healing (see John 9:1-7). They had encountered a man who had been born blind, and, in accord with common thinking of the time, they looked to sin as the source of the man's affliction. But they couldn't decide if the man had sinned or if his parents had.
Jesus knew better than to look to sin for an answer. Nor did he worry about physical causes and solutions. His words and actions show that Jesus looked at the nature of God. He turned to see God's work, and as a result of this the man's sight was restored.
During his ministry, Jesus demonstrated that solutions to illness, hatred, hunger, financial problems, greed, and even death, lay in that same spiritual direction-they lay in an understanding of God. Jesus' solutions didn't fit standard expectations, but he healed sicknesses, even ones considered incurable, and did it without medicine or surgery. He fed thousands by multiplying a few loaves and some fish. He reformed sinners, not through punishment, but through love. Obviously, in looking to God he looked in the right place for answers.
It is possible for you today to find practical answers to your problems through prayer and reliance on God. People do it every day. The book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures helps to explain the spiritual meaning of the Bible. Written over a hundred years ago, Science and Health discusses trusting God. It explains how and why to turn to Him no matter what you are seeking. It shows that God created you in His own image and loves you dearly. If you don't feel this love right now, don't worry. The Bible and Science and Health together prove that it's there and that you can find it.
Mary Baker Eddy, the author of Science and Health, was able to heal people, not through human actions, but through an understanding of the laws of God revealed in what Jesus taught. She wrote this textbook of Christian Science so that others could learn how to understand the same healing power she had discovered in the Scriptures. Consider this statement from the first chapter, "Prayer": "In divine Science, where prayers are mental, all may avail themselves of God as 'a very present help in trouble' " (pp. 12-13).
The book's last chapter contains accounts of people who just by reading it have been healed of many different problems-of addictions, character flaws, financial problems, and a wide variety of physical ailments. Many of these testimonies convey particular gratitude that those healed learned more about God and their relation to Him.
If you feel something good is lacking in your life, and that you've been looking in empty or wrong places for answers, you could start looking where it's crowded with God's love. That's the place of spiritual understanding, where you'll find all the answers that you'll ever need.