When I was first married, my husband was an officer on a boomer, one of the largest submarines in the world. One time, the submarine got caught in a storm, tossed to and fro by relentless waves. Many of the men became sick, and it was apparent the sub needed to get out of the storm. It did this by diving deeper – for refuge. Once a submarine is submerged, it uses its sonar or “active” listening.
I like to think of this as a good scenario for prayer, too. When we feel as though we are being tossed around in feelings of sickness or sorrow, we have an opportunity to go deeper for refuge. Right when life seems uncertain, we can go to God, who is Spirit, to learn more about our real identity as a spiritual idea of God.
The first step in recognizing what we really are is to go deeper than mere physicality or superficial personality traits, and to actively listen to what God is saying. “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science, gives this comforting counsel: “We must look deep into realism instead of accepting only the outward sense of things” (p. 129). In this way we discern the spiritual reality of God’s goodness, expressed throughout creation.
A few years ago, I was struggling with feelings of grief over the loss of a loved one. I felt overwhelmed and had a hard time coping with what felt like the “new normal.”
Realizing that I couldn’t continue on this path, I decided to deepen my understanding of God and my relation to Him as a beloved child. I reached out in heartfelt prayer, and soon felt enveloped by God’s tender love and care for my family and me. This love didn’t feel shallow or changeable. God’s love felt like a great deep welling up from within, bringing needed peace.
In several places, the Bible talks about finding refuge in God, and we can all do that. Quoting one of those Bible promises, the opening verse of Psalm 46, Mrs. Eddy says, “Step by step will those who trust Him find that ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble’” (Science and Health, p. 444). Whatever storms we encounter, we can always go deeper in our understanding of God, divine Love, for refuge.
Adapted from the Feb. 7, 2020, Christian Science Daily Lift podcast.