God’s guidance in the storm
A Christian Science perspective: Praying for protection during hurricanes.
—Many decisions with far-reaching consequences have to be made when facing the prospect of severe weather conditions, or if trapped within them. How can we ensure we choose the right way to respond?
There are many proofs in the Bible of God’s presence and power that have been deeply inspiring to me. For example in the book of Acts, St. Paul prayed for guidance before sailing from Crete to Italy. He then urgently warned the ship’s owner and Julius, the centurion, that the voyage would be disastrous unless delayed. But the ship sailed anyway, right into a violent storm. Yet Paul’s courage and confidence in God remained indomitable. Two weeks of storms passed. Then after earnest prayer, he encouraged everyone, telling them that an angel of God, a divine message, had told him that the ship itself would be lost to the storm, but the 276 men aboard – prisoners like Paul, crew, and soldiers – would all be safe. From this point on, Julius and the others heeded Paul’s orders and survived shipwreck (see Acts 27).
In studying such healing works recorded in the Bible, Christian Science founder Mary Baker Eddy discerned a higher law of God, Spirit, that liberates us from material laws and fears. This understanding of divine law clearly shows that the divine Mind, God, is tenderly governing and embracing all and that as we humbly, obediently listen for the direction and guidance of this all-knowing Mind, our footsteps are guided.
This perception of God’s ever-present, sheltering care for each of us as His dear children has deepened in me over the years. I’ve found that the constancy of divine Love’s care is expressed in the precision of perfect Mind’s guidance.
An example of this occurred several years ago when I lived in Florida. Tropical storms and hurricanes swept through Tallahassee. As a new resident, it was unnerving to see nearby trees being whipped and lashed by the wind. But as I turned wholeheartedly to God in prayer, I remembered how Christ Jesus had been able to rebuke wind and wave, restoring calm and normalcy (see Matthew 8:26).
I affirmed that nothing and no one could be outside the order, harmony, and security of God’s perpetual care. Where ferocity and violence appeared to be holding sway, the tender power of divine Love was already there keeping us safe.
Right at the beginning of hurricane season, I was preparing to move from my rented home when the sellers of the home I was purchasing had a change of plans and moved out earlier than expected. I wondered whether I should remain where I was until the end of my lease or also move earlier than planned, so I prayed for guidance.
Quickly the answer came as a clear angel message: Move! I notified my landlady of the change in plans and she kindly encouraged me, saying that this would give her time to make some repairs before new tenants moved in.
I have to admit that this was not the path I was hoping for at the time. But the spiritual discernment that prayer gives helped me see clearly that the right step in this case was to move immediately, not stay the course.
I set aside the impulse to rely on human will and planning, and resolved to let God wisely, lovingly, and intelligently order my steps. Soon the details fell into place, and I was in my new home ahead of the original schedule.
A few days later, my former landlady called me to say that a large tree had fallen onto her rental property, and she was grateful that the home was vacant! Her insurance covered the damage, and because the home was empty, nobody had been in danger.
I was so grateful that I had listened to the angel message to move early, and I felt in awe of divine Love’s complete care for each of us. It is further proof to me that every individual is forever one with divine Love, God, and eternally under the protection of ever-operative divine law. We can seek God’s guidance and experience this right where we are.
This article was adapted from an article in the Aug. 21, 2017, issue of the Christian Science Sentinel.