Growing up near the ocean in a region where hurricanes occur, I have prepared for and endured these torrential storms numerous times. One hurricane experience, however, was especially memorable to me.
During the hurricane, tempestuous winds impelled my friend and me to wonder whether the house could sustain such an intense storm without damage. We had taken all precautionary steps in boarding up windows and doors, but to reassure ourselves that the house was not being affected by the hurricane, we lingered outside for a few minutes.
Suddenly, a gust of wind caused an oversized door to slam shut, leaving us outside the house. Inside, a very large piece of lumber, which we had used to keep the rugged door closed against strong winds, fell and remained wedged against it. Other possible entrances had been tightly secured, and all of our tools were inside the house. Despite our efforts to open it, the door remained closed. Moreover, the nearest neighbor lived more than a mile away, and the winds were becoming so boisterous that we thought it would be difficult, as well as dangerous, to travel along the long dirt road.
Since we saw no way to get back into the house and no suitable shelter from the storm, the situation seemed hopeless. So I turned wholeheartedly to God, with whom “all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26). I had learned in Christian Science that each of us has an essential and eternal relationship to God, who protects and cares for us, His spiritual offspring. The Bible illuminates that we are at one with God. Shedding light on the unchanging wholeness of God’s creation, Monitor founder Mary Baker Eddy wrote in “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” “As a drop of water is one with the ocean, a ray of light one with the sun, even so God and man, Father and son, are one in being” (p. 361). And Scripture tells us, “For in him we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:28).
Prayer centered on our inseparable relationship to God reveals that we forever abide in the safety of God, who is divine Mind. This Mind includes boundless, intelligent ideas, which flow continuously to us as God’s pure expression and dissolve fear, turmoil, and confusion.
In spite of the chaotic winds churning around us, I recalled this promise from the book of Isaiah: “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness” (41:10). This spiritual truth comforted me, and I was overcome with a sense of peace that did not stem from willpower or happenstance, but from trust in God, ever-present and all-powerful Mind.
What happened next occurred very rapidly. My friend found he was able to push vigorously enough against the huge door that the wedged piece of lumber that was behind it shifted, and the door opened a little near the top. Then, despite the robust winds, we both maintained balance while I climbed onto his back and was able to slip through the small opening to remove the lumber. As a result, we were able to get safely inside.
During the remainder of the hurricane, I was thankful and calm because this experience showed me how God’s protection and guidance is there for us throughout any situation. And after the hurricane was over, we determined that there was no damage to the house.
“He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still,” the Bible assures us (Psalms 107:29). The realization that we abide safely in God’s care quiets fear and enables us to think and act clearly and decisively when challenges confront us.
Adapted from an article published in the Feb. 13, 2017, issue of the Christian Science Sentinel.