As I write this, Colorado is on fire. Ten wildfires have broken out on the slopes and foothills of the Colorado Rocky Mountains, one so close to the city of Colorado Springs that whole neighborhoods are on mandatory evacuation orders. Structures have burned and major thoroughfares are jammed with cars carrying thousands of people to safety.
As I turn to prayer, a statement leaps into view from the Christian Science textbook, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” by Mary Baker Eddy: “This material world is even now becoming the arena for conflicting forces. On one side there will be discord and dismay; on the other side there will be Science and peace” (p. 96). But, I cry, how can I stay on the side of Science, God’s law, and have peace when confronted with such destruction? And the Bible speaks, gently reminding me of God’s great promise to mankind, “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God...” (Isaiah 41:10).
So I decide to wage a war of disbelief. Disbelief? In other words, ignore the flames? Hardly. That would be an offense to more than 1,000 firefighters risking their lives to control the fire. But I can wage a war of disbelief that such a conflagration is God-sent or has the slightest power from God, whom the Scriptures define as divine Love itself. With each news report, I can find a healing statement that lifts prayer to the inspiration of divine Love that destroys fear and opens thought to the power for unspeakable good that comes from His spiritual law, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3).
The Scriptures are full of the power of God that supersedes material forces. The prophet Elijah was so afraid of the danger threatening him that he hid in a cave. But God called him to come out, stand on the mount, and discover that power is not in the destruction of earthquake, wind, and fire, but in the “still small voice” (I Kings 19:12). Science and Health, revealing that still, small voice to be the voice of Truth, affirms that “God is not the author of mortal discords” (p. 231).
Media reports often speak of the unpredictable cruelty of Mother Nature. Yet the Bible gently reminds me that the motherhood of God prevails: “As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you” (Isaiah 66:13). It is the province of divine Love to tenderly nurture Her creation, for as Science and Health puts it, “In divine Science, we have not as much authority for considering God masculine, as we have for considering Him feminine, for Love imparts the clearest idea of Deity” (p. 517).
God’s word speaks to us with the authority of His fatherhood and the protecting embrace of Her motherhood, ever with us through the darkness of disaster and in the light of recovery – through the mist of materialism to the sunshine of spiritual discovery. To all who must turn from the broken promise of security in matter, we have a profoundly comforting promise of safety: “The God of love and peace shall be with you” (II Corinthians 13:11).
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