A Christian Science perspective.

Moses was in trouble. The children of Israel were without water and in danger of literally dying of thirst (see Exodus, Chap. 17, in the Bible). They blamed Moses for leading them to a place that didn’t have the resources to sustain them. It seemed that their escape from Egypt was all for naught. Even though the Red Sea had been parted for them; even though they had been fed with manna in the wilderness, they were convinced by what they saw around them that without water, they would surely die. And so, it seemed natural to blame the man who had led them there! The narrative goes on to describe how Moses, after turning to God in this great hour of need, was led to Mt. Horeb, where he was directed to strike the rock with his rod, and water came out of the rock – enough water to take care of all their needs.

It would seem that we could use Moses today to provide water to end the droughts that cause the same fear the children of Israel felt in the wilderness so long ago. But is it Moses we need, or is it some measure of the absolute faith and understanding Moses had in God, the source of all good, who supplies all our needs, always? Moses knew he could trust God in every circumstance, no matter how desperate things might look to mortal eyes. And what Moses knew was able to bless everyone around him.

Many of us right now are asking God to bring rain to drought-stricken areas in the United States, looking for divine intervention to solve the problem. My study of Christian Science has for me brought prayer to a higher level, revealing more than what the material senses can observe.

In her book “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science, wrote: “God is not influenced by man. The ‘divine ear’ is not an auditory nerve. It is the all-hearing and all-knowing Mind, to whom each need of man is always known and by whom it will be supplied” (p. 7). Moses clearly understood this spiritual fact, and proved it when he was confronted with the apparent lack of water in the wilderness. His absolute faith that God was always supplying the need manifested itself in His ability to find water right where everyone else could see only rocks.

From the standpoint of Christian Science, the drought many are experiencing right now is just one example of a collective human belief that either God’s presence or care for His children can be restricted in certain places at certain times, or else that God is unwilling or unable to do anything about the extreme needs affecting large numbers of people. The answer lies in a clearer recognition of the unchanging, ever-present, all-powerful love God is perpetually imparting, which is constantly available to all of us.

Jesus spoke of the need to gain a clearer sense of God’s kingdom and what it includes in his Sermon on the Mount. He said: “Take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? ... for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:31-33).

The only real need we ever have is to understand more clearly the spiritual fact of God’s allness, which includes the wonderful truth that His supply of everything good is always at hand, always available. These words of Isaiah the prophet offer a wonderful promise: “When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the Lord will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them. I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water” (41:17, 18).

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.