Watching for good
Today’s contributor explores the idea that it’s natural to turn to God and expect – and experience – His help in times of need.
Once there was a 10-year-old boy who watched all day for something. He sat on the curb in front of his house, looking anxiously for his grandmother’s car to pull up. You see, he had called her up that morning – quite out of the blue – and politely asked if she might think about getting him a bicycle. Her answer was immediate: They could go to the store together that very day. You can imagine how thrilled he was!
And sure enough, that afternoon she pulled up to the curb where he had been sitting in the hot sun all day, patiently waiting and watching. They went to the local shop, and to his absolute delight, she bought him a Stingray (the kind so popular in those days) with chrome monkey handlebars and a bright green banana seat. It was a dream come true.
Years ago, when my husband told me this story about his grandma buying him a bike, it got me thinking about that idea of expectantly watching for something good. Through my study of Christian Science, I’ve learned that the source of all good is not personal, originating in people (and in some more than others); it actually flows continuously and abundantly from God, divine Love itself. Our role is to watch for evidence of that spiritual good, to understand better everyone’s God-given ability to express good.
This isn’t just a passive sitting around. It’s an active acknowledgment of God’s measureless love, an openness to receiving and acting on it. I’ve found inspiration in Christ Jesus’ clear, unwavering faith in God’s infinite, impartial goodness. For instance, he said, “If any of you were asked by his son for bread would you be likely to give him a stone, or if he asks for a fish would you give him a snake? If you then, for all your evil, quite naturally give good things to your children, how much more likely is it that your Heavenly Father will give good things to those who ask him?” (Matthew 7:9-11, J.B. Phillips, “The New Testament in Modern English”).
God’s love and care for each of us, His spiritual offspring, is not a fickle thing. Divine good doesn’t come to some and pass others by, or leave anyone waiting on some “curb” in vain. Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, once wrote, “[T]he New Testament tells us of ‘the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.’ God is not the shifting vane on the spire, but the corner-stone of living rock, firmer than everlasting hills” (“Unity of Good,” p. 14).
She wrote from experience. After a deathbed healing awoke in her a heightened awareness of God’s law of good, a dedicated prayerful study of the Scriptures led to her discovery of a teachable system of healing that others could benefit from. Impelled by a deep love for humanity, she shared her findings in her major work, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.” One sentence, using “Truth” as another name for God, reads, “Millions of unprejudiced minds – simple seekers for Truth, weary wanderers, athirst in the desert – are waiting and watching for rest and drink” (p. 570).
I’ve found time and again that God is just as present today to heal, comfort, and save as in Jesus’ day. Are we “waiting and watching” in eager expectation for opportunities to prove this? With an honest desire to understand to a greater degree the unchanging law of divine Love, we come to find that it’s natural to turn to God and expect His help in times of need.
Faithful watching for evidence of God’s goodness in our lives is a grand adventure, bringing joy and renewal. It blesses others around us, too, counteracting in growing measure notions that evil, skepticism, and hopelessness are the norm. We can walk each day in a growing understanding that God’s law of good is in operation on our behalf, right where we are, whatever we’re facing.