A Christian Science Perspective: When waters rise are we helpless?

In turbulent times – when flood or storm threatens – can intuition direct us away from danger? Several years ago, before getting into my car, a thought came that I would not make it to my planned destination that night. It didn’t come from a place of doubt or fear. In fact, there was nothing on the surface that would indicate that might be the case, but listening made all the difference.

My upbringing in Christian Science had taught me to pay attention to such strong, calm intuitions. The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, describes them as “God’s thoughts passing to man; spiritual intuitions, pure and perfect; the inspiration of goodness, purity, and immortality, counteracting all evil, sensuality, and mortality” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 581).

According to the teachings of Christian Science, these thoughts are natural for anyone to hear, because God and man are linked: God is creator, and man is created in the image and likeness of God, as explained, for instance, in the first chapter of Genesis. If we are God’s image, then we each individually reflect the knowledge of divine intelligence. As an all-loving God (see I John 4:16), it follows that God ensures the safety of His own creation and can direct us to where we need to be.

While I drove, raindrops dotted the windshield and became thicker. As I neared the exit to my destination, the pavement rippled with rain.

This time, a strong intuition came that I needed to seek another route. But I reasoned against it. I thought that the longer I stayed out in the rain, the worse it would get, and that my best recourse would be to take the shorter route to my destination. But a puddle appeared on that shorter route, and I hydroplaned.

It became immediately clear that my own reasoning could not be trusted. I knew that I needed to listen to these spiritual intuitions, as logical or illogical as they seemed. A proverb from the Bible states: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3:5, 6).

In that moment, I regained control of the car and realized just how literally I needed to rely – and could rely – on that Bible passage. As close as I was, I didn’t hesitate to follow the strong message that said to avoid the road to my original destination. I didn’t ask to know why, but the next day I learned the answer. The day of my trip made international news. Flood levels were higher than they had been in over 500 years. Houses and storefronts had significant water damage, and roads – including the road I was led not to turn down – had actually washed away and would have washed me away with it had I not turned off onto the other route when I did.

I didn’t make it to my original destination, just as the original intuition predicted, but I was immeasurably grateful to arrive safely at another.

To this day, I don’t second-guess these spiritual intuitions. They have proved countless times to be a reliable help in both literal and figurative turbulence. This experience among others further convinces me that every one of us today has a God-given right to wisdom, and I pray that all are directed to safety.

Adapted from a Christian Science Perspective published Oct. 24, 2014.

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