"I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert" (Isa. 43:19). This promise from God, which I've loved for years, really caught my attention recently.
I realized that right now God is showing me and all of us spiritual and practical ways, new actions and directions to take, through the wilderness of fear and confusion that sometimes surrounds our thinking and lives. In "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Mary Baker Eddy describes "river" as a "channel of thought" (pg. 593). I saw that rivers and channels of clear, pure thoughts and fresh inspiration were continually flowing from God, the source of intelligence, to each of us, God's beloved spiritual creation. This flow of divine thoughts from God cannot be interrupted or diverted, and guides and protects us under every circumstance.
I've experienced this promise many times, coming as a quiet thought telling me what to do, where to go, or what to think.
I remember one particular experience when I urgently needed wise and protecting guidance. I was alone in a public place. A man had come up to me and was acting in a distracted, agitated manner. I was alarmed and realized that there was no one around if I needed help.
At that point, I turned my thought to God in one simple prayer: "God, please help me. Tell me what to do." Then, very clearly, this idea flowed into my thought: "You make your move before he makes his." I knew that God is Love and Spirit and that this move had to be a loving, spiritual move.
I began to talk to the man. I told him kindly and firmly that God loved him, that he was the beloved son of God, that God was caring for his every need at every moment. I talked about the spiritual truths of God and His creation, as found in the Bible and Science and Health, for about five minutes.
When I stopped talking, he said, "But I can't find a job. I've tried and tried to find work, but I can't seem to find anything meaningful to do, and I need some money very badly." I assured him again that God is his loving Father and would meet his needs. I urged him to trust in God's care and guidance, to keep praying and trusting, and added that his prayers would be answered in a practical and meaningful way. He listened, thanked me, and went on his way.
As the man left, I was so grateful to God for protecting both of us from any wrongdoing. I was grateful that he had been protected from doing anything harmful and I was protected from being harmed. The spiritual power behind God's direction to make a loving, spiritually preemptive move had nullified the presence or power of evil for both of us.
Good preempts evil. Evil doesn't necessarily need to be endured, and then chased down or chased after in order to be eliminated. Christ Jesus said of the devil, evil, that "he is a liar, and the father of it" (John 8:44). Clear direction from divine wisdom flowing from God, divine Love, can preempt and destroy any claim to a power, activity, or "move" not proceeding from God.
Let not mercy and truth
forsake thee: bind them
about thy neck; write them
upon the table of thine heart:
So shalt thou find favour and
good understanding in the
sight of God and man. Trust
in the Lord with all thine
heart; and lean not unto
thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge
him, and he shall direct thy
paths. Be not wise in thine
own eyes: fear the Lord,
and depart from evil.