Becoming sunny and warmer

Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life

Last summer must have BEEN the dullest on record in my part of England. Day after day, dark clouds filled the sky.

Of course, I knew the sunshine was still in existence. In fact, I discovered it during a trip to Portugal - lots of it.

Life can sometimes seem like that - full of depressing circumstances, or perhaps just dull routine. No sunshine or joy to brighten things. Well, just as surely as the sun is there despite the clouds, so is there a brighter outlook we can find - without having to wait for things to change (or to go to Portugal).

As soon as my airplane rose above the clouds, I saw the sun that had been there all along. The purity of the light up there was uplifting. Clouds were far below, incapable of obscuring its radiance.

Likewise, when circumstances seem difficult or depressing, it is possible to rise beyond and above them, into the clear, bright atmosphere of Love - which is God. When our sense of joy and beauty is restored to us, we also begin to see changes for the better in our particular circumstances.

You could liken God to the sun - always there, always radiating light, even if clouds tell a different story. And just as there are aerodynamic laws enabling aircraft to rise above the clouds, so are there laws of God that enable us to rise into the serene, sun-bright recognition of Him.

Prayer helps us see God's laws operating. Here are just a few examples of how to pray, from the Holy Bible: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind" (Luke 10:27); "When thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret" (Matt. 6:6). Also, "What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them" (Mark 11:24).

Prayer is the human activity that ushers in the joyous sense of God's love, and of the link we have to it at all times. Praying brings a view of things different from the one we may have had - and brings a happier, more peaceful feeling. Things begin to look brighter and circumstances improve. We're rising to where the sunshine cannot be obscured.

At one point my husband was laid off from his job. Work was scarce. He was given just three months' severance pay, and we were now well into the second month with no job in sight. We had a young child to provide for.

One day I found myself so troubled about the situation that I just had to stop and pray about things. I recollected this, from the Bible: "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it" (Mal. 3:10).

Mary Baker Eddy, who named the healing laws of God Christian Science, defined tithes spiritually as gratitude (see "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Pg. 595). I suddenly saw tithes in the storehouse as gratitude in consciousness. So I began writing a gratitude list, which stretched eventually to three pages. And at the end I felt calm and reassured of God's love. I was grateful! Nothing had changed, but I was above the clouds of fear and depression. I went back to work with a sense of trust that all would be well, and this uplifted sense stayed with me.

Soon, my husband had a job - and there was not one month that was not covered by salary. He has never been out of work since.

That experience was very much like rising above the clouds to find sunshine. And that sort of thing happens when we reach out to God in prayer for a different view from the one that's disturbing us. A truer sense of God's love for us, His beloved creation, appears - along with just the ideas we need. And that's light and warmth that we can feel anywhere.

You'll find in-depth articles about God's laws in The Christian Science Journal, a monthly magazine.

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