None of us had a house to live in. All 30 of us were setting up tents in a field as temporary shelters for several days of bivouac training in the Army. We had barracks to go back to when this training exercise was over, but even that was pretty basic housing.
As I was leaning over to drive a tent stake into the ground, I suddenly felt very alone, separated from friends and family, and from any sense of comfort or care. It was even getting chilly and dark, which made things a little worse. I mentally turned to my growing understanding of God and His ever-presence and goodness. This brought some inspiration and assurance that man is always in God’s care and protection. It didn’t take very long to think about these ideas while I set up the tent. The idea of God always caring for man no matter what the human circumstances seemed to indicate was very comforting and reassuring right there where I was kneeling on the ground.
Just then, our unit sergeant came over to me and offered me his fatigue jacket. It was such an unexpected surprise that was totally uncharacteristic of sergeant behavior. I immediately put his jacket on and felt not only the warmth of the jacket itself but also the kind and caring thoughtfulness of his gesture. The timing was perfect. For the next several days, even though we were all setting up a temporary home in our little pup tents, and then moving on to another site, I felt a tangible sense of God’s ever-presence and goodness.
Christ Jesus taught his followers to turn to and trust God for all their needs, whether it was for shelter, sustenance, or healing. He reminded them that just as God so beautifully clothes the grass that is in the field, so He cares for and clothes each man, woman, and child. In his famous Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said “Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to-day is, and to-morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) 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 6:30-33).
The basis for this loving provision for each one of God’s children is that He is universal Love: all-embracing, all-caring, and all-inclusive. No one is excluded, forgotten, ignored, or abandoned. God’s care is “present and accounted for,” as they say in the military.
Mary Baker Eddy makes it clear through her teachings of Christian Science that this universal Love, God, and His care are always present because God is divine and infinite. For example, in her book “Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896” she affirms that “God’s love for His flock is manifest in His care” (p. 154). God’s love cannot be depleted, because God loves by expressing His own infinite nature and eternal being. God’s care is always available and accessible because it is the expression of the all-knowing and ever-present divine Mind. The actual care of God can be understood and experienced because God is the very life of man; He sustains His spiritual reflection.
No matter where one is, or what his present circumstances are, he can turn to God with an expectancy of benevolence, immediacy, and fulfillment because God’s love for His children is as close as the sincerity and expectancy of our prayers. Mrs. Eddy writes: “In divine Science, where prayers are mental, all may avail themselves of God as ‘a very present help in trouble.’ Love is impartial and universal in its adaptation and bestowals. It is the open fount which cries, ‘Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters’ ” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” pp. 12-13).