Where is God when we need Him?
A Christian Science perspective: Praying in times of need.
I don’t know anyone who hasn’t had tough going at one time or another. Do you? Most everyone has a story to tell of loss or pain or hardship. But I’ve learned that asking, “Why me?” tends to focus more on the problem than on bringing out a solution. To me, life isn’t so much about the adversity we face as it is about what we do in adversity. And that’s how I found where God is when we need Him.
Sitting alone late one Christmas Eve in a hospital emergency room, following an accident at my job that sent shards of glass into my face and eyes, what was I to do? I was waiting for my mom to arrive to authorize treatment because I was a minor, and also for a specialist doctor to arrive who’d been called because of the nature of the injuries.
Despite the serious injuries, I was glad to be alone so I could take time to think. Rather than focus on the accident or the injuries or the fears voiced by observers, I chose to pray. This was a natural response for me, as I had been learning in my Christian Science Sunday School that prayer is very practical. My instruction in the Science of Christ from the Bible and “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by its discoverer, Mary Baker Eddy, gave me an informed certainty that healing could occur through a better understanding of God and our relationship to Him.
From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible is chock-full of examples and explanations of the depth and breadth and might of God as divine Love, who is always present, impartial, and universally good! Mrs. Eddy explained in her book “Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896”: “God is universal; confined to no spot, defined by no dogma, appropriated by no sect. Not more to one than to all, is God demonstrable as divine Life, Truth, and Love; and His people are they that reflect Him – that reflect Love” (p. 150).
I’d been learning that by recognizing God, divine Love, as the fundamental source of life – that is, the very Principle of existence – and recognizing ourselves as the spiritual expression of Principle, we see that God governs His creation through laws of Spirit, always above and beyond any sense of physicality. This was proven in the life and healing works of Christ Jesus and his disciples, and I had seen healings in my own life from studying Jesus’ teachings.
I knew the unerring, irreversible, spiritual laws of being underlie such healing. And I saw that, as children of God, Spirit, we are spiritual ideas created to be like Him (see John 4:24 and Genesis 1:26, 27, respectively). The spiritual universe, including all of God’s creation, must reflect God, good. So a spiritual idea can’t be affected or afflicted by a material accident. Two ideas can’t collide to harm either one.
Understanding that God is the source of all undiminished, spiritual life, and that we are included in God’s spiritual creation, reveals God as always present. And this understanding brings healing. Mrs. Eddy wrote, “Having faith in the divine Principle of health and spiritually understanding God, sustains man under all circumstances;...” (Science and Health, p. 319). Understanding that even in a degree enabled me to reject the evidence of danger and injury, and to feel divine Love’s holy influence. Being conscious of the truth of Love’s ever-presence and omnipotence removed fear.
By the time the doctor finally examined me, I was not admitted to the hospital because the cuts and abrasions were completely healed. The doctor questioned why he’d even been called to come in, and the receptionist assured him that my condition had been much different hours before when I had arrived at the hospital and when he’d been called.
So what had happened between the time of the accident and the doctor’s examination? I found where God is when we really need Him: right here, right now, for all of us, for all time and eternity, just as the Psalmist said: “Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations” (Psalms 90:1).