Trust in a good outcome

Far from blind faith or naiveté, understanding the nature of God as our good creator brings hope and practical solutions.

Christian Science Perspective audio edition
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In today’s climate of volatile news, it can be heartening when a story surfaces that the whole world seems to rally behind. For instance, such unified support was palpable when a Thai soccer team was recently rescued from 18 days of captivity deep within a flooded cave labyrinth.

Despite fearful predictions that the group would be stuck in the cave for months at the mercy of the monsoon season, creative solutions abounded, particularly in the courageous efforts by divers. It truly felt as though everyone near and far – including a diver who lost his life while ensuring those trapped had the oxygen they needed – was working for the complete and safe return of the team and its coach.

I love thinking about the qualities that were expressed along the way, including patience, courage, intelligence, creativity, love, and selflessness. The Scriptures call such qualities the “fruit of the Spirit,” which we each inherently include as God’s creation, or expression. As the New International Version puts it, “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22, 23).

It can be hard to be patient and faithful when we aren’t sure of an outcome, and yet prayer that acknowledges the goodness of God enables us to trust that the end result will be in accord with good, giving strength and confidence even in the toughest of circumstances. As the King James Version of the Bible assures us, “They that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing” (Psalms 34:10).

From my study of Christian Science, I have come to expect that when we seek guidance from God, the one divine Mind or intelligence, we can expect to receive creative and harmonious answers. Fearful predictions dissolve, replaced with a calm understanding that God’s goodness is always present and available.

My family has had many experiences that have shown us the practicality of this idea of trusting in good. Although these are much more modest than the rescue of the soccer team, they have illustrated to us the spiritual laws that lie behind the affirmation that we can trust goodness to prevail. During a particularly harsh New England winter when we had no break in heavy snowfall, ice dams formed on our roof, eventually leaking into our home. The resulting water damage was significant, and our insurance company and multiple contractors had to be involved in efforts to restore our home.

During this time we heard stories on the news and from neighbors about the scarcity of good contractors and the difficulty of even reaching insurance agents due to the high volume of similar claims throughout our state. My husband and I prayed during each step of the process to replace fear and uncertainty with confidence in Mind’s providence of intelligent solutions.

I considered home as a spiritual idea, rather than focusing on a physical structure that could be negatively impacted by time or weather. As God’s loved spiritual offspring, we each dwell in God’s love, finding in Him a home that is forever intact. The heart of home consists of qualities such as beauty, order, light, warmth, and generosity – qualities we can cherish wherever we are.

These ideas brought me peace amid the destruction and uncertainty. We found that as we sought God’s guidance, each obstacle was met, including a creative solution that allowed us to live in our home while the work was completed. The people we ended up working with expressed kindness and generosity, and our home was satisfactorily restored in a reasonable amount of time.

Such experiences give me hope when addressing life’s challenges, whether individual or global. These words of Monitor founder Mary Baker Eddy, inspired by a passage in the Bible, relate to each one of us and continue to inspire my prayers: “How blessed it is to think of you as ‘beneath the shadow of a great rock in a weary land,’ safe in His strength, building on His foundation, and covered from the devourer by divine protection and affection” (“Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896,” p. 263).

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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.