Confidence amid uncertainty
A Christian Science perspective on daily life.
During this week between Christmas and New Year's, the way ahead sometimes seems filled with unknowns. This year people may be asking, Will there be enough money to pay for winter expenses? What does the employment future hold? Will the worldwide recession last, or will we find a way out of it soon?
These aren't easy questions to answer. But often, appearances are deceiving. It may seem as though the good we desire (a job, enough money to pay the bills) is "out there," vulnerable, liable to be snatched from our hands at any moment. But this isn't true. The spiritual reality is that we are the sons and daughters of God, and are under His care. As His spiritual offspring, we already include all good, and nothing can take away what God has given us.
Jesus made this point when he was responding to questions about when the kingdom of God would come. He replied, "The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17:20, 21).
This kingdom of God isn't a political structure. It includes only good – peace, stability, strength, intelligence, wisdom, joy, love, beauty, and satisfaction. It is subject to the law of divine Love, which is a sure guide through any trouble. We accept our citizenship in this kingdom when we're willing to do our best to live in obedience to His loving direction.
What does that mean in day-to-day terms? One aspect is trust: to ask God for guidance each step of the way. Another is love: to take the time to love one's fellow men and women and to affirm that they, too, are citizens of this kingdom (even if they have just cut you off in traffic). Honesty is also vital: to see oneself as worthy of being a citizen of this kingdom while also being able to perceive areas where more spiritual progress is needed. Taking time to appreciate beauty and goodness, wherever it appears, opens our eyes to the good that's already surrounding us, even though it may seem invisible.
The more willing we become to live in accord with divine Love, the more of the kingdom we'll see and feel in our lives. And the more confidence in good we'll gain. This happens as we are led, step by step, through small troubles and large, as we find God's love comforting us in the dark hours and rejoicing with us in the light.
In her book "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Mary Baker Eddy wrote: "The confidence inspired by Science lies in the fact that Truth is real and error is unreal. Error is a coward before Truth" (p. 368). This Truth is God, the spiritual reality of all things. This is the reality of all of our lives, even if we don't always see it clearly. The fact is that God sees us clearly, as His much loved spiritual ideas, and His love sustains, nourishes, blesses, and heals us.
What about those times when the way ahead still seems scary and uncertain? This proverb in the Bible can be helpful: "Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh. For the Lord shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken" (Prov. 3:25, 26).
This promise enables us to stand fast even when the ground seems to be trembling under our feet. Even there, the power of infinite Love is present, supporting us, holding us upright, and keeping us safe. By listening diligently for God's guidance, we can cross even the trickiest, most rickety mental (or physical) bridge and find our way safely home. This is possible because in the process, we realize that God is already with us everywhere. His kingdom is within us, which means that there will never be a time when we'll lack His healing, guiding, all-loving care.
and in confidence
shall be your strength. Isaiah 30:15