Today the stormy sea of personal political opinions, fake news, political jockeying – along with conditions elsewhere in the world – have turned me more than once to the Bible for guidance and peace.
One account that seems particularly appropriate is the time when Jesus’ disciples were caught in a stormy sea of their own – a literal one (see Mark 6:45-52). Despite doing their best to control the ship, things weren’t looking very good. Their human efforts, while intelligent and good, were unable to control the situation they were in.
Then, Jesus came to the disciples, walking on the sea. In their state of fear, at first they thought he was a spirit, but Jesus declared, “Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid.” If they hadn’t recognized him at this point, they must have known him from what happened next: The storm ceased and the sea became calm.
To me, this is more than just an account of Jesus doing something remarkable – it’s also symbolic of how the Christ, as an ever-present divine influence, comes in our hour of need to deliver us. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, explains Christ as “the true idea voicing good, the divine message from God to men speaking to the human consciousness” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 332). That the Christ-power is still with us today is evidenced in Jesus’ own words when he said to his disciples, “Lo, I am with you alway” (Matthew 28:20).
While news reports of political polarization and divisiveness may be alarming, instead of dwelling on them, we can affirm in prayer that the peace of Christ is with us “voicing good,” revealing the presence of divine intelligence, order, and harmony. Christ voices the truth that our real nature is Godlike – spiritual, upright, and pure. This truth has given me a deeper confidence that good will prevail, and it’s also inspired me to pray earnestly for all of humanity, that everyone may feel the goodness and grace of God’s love for His children. Such prayer has helped me feel compassion even for those whose political views are totally opposed to my own.
This reliance on God’s love and care for all of us has guided me through many different kinds of turmoil, including political issues in the town where I live. There was a time many years ago when there seemed to be rampant dishonesty in a major department of town government. Even when called to account, the individuals responded with arrogance.
During this time, I studied the Bible and Mrs. Eddy’s writings for inspiration and guidance. This statement from Mrs. Eddy’s “Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896” gives an idea of some of the truths I was praying with, which enabled me to support a right outcome to our town’s challenge: “The divine ruling gives prudence and energy; it banishes forever all envy, rivalry, evil thinking, evil speaking and acting; and mortal mind, thus purged, obtains peace and power outside of itself” (pp. 204-205). It took a little while for the situation to be resolved, but truth did prevail and that department of our town government was permanently transformed.
Each of us, in our prayers to see the power of Christ walking on whatever stormy sea humanity happens to be sailing upon, can insist that the peaceful influence of Christ is operating in our lives and in governments around the world. Through this divine power, the divine Truth that Jesus proved, the turbulent seas of this troubled time can be pacified.