Many years ago when I was a single mom with two young daughters, my job as a secretary was our only source of income. At that time the community we lived in faced a contagious epidemic, and we were encouraged to consider quarantining our children at home for five weeks, even if they showed no symptoms of the disease.
I voluntarily took this step out of support for my family and our community, but I was feeling a deeper need for security than quarantining could provide. How would I pay our bills? How would I survive five weeks alone in our house with two active children? What would happen if they did become ill?
I turned to God in prayer for answers. Fresh inspiration came with the powerful assurance of this Bible verse: “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them” (Psalms 119:165).
I found a definition for “offend” that said “to attack from without.” And I remembered a definition of God’s law in a book by Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science. It says, “God’s law is in three words, ‘I am All;’ and this perfect law is ever present to rebuke any claim of another law” (“No and Yes,” p. 30). Putting these ideas together, I reasoned that since God is All, then God is ever present – therefore, there is no “outside” to God, so nothing to attack from without. All good comes from God, including supply, health, harmony, security, and peace.
This brought me great comfort, and as I prayed with these ideas I began to see signs of that divine law in operation. The first came when my boss called to say that the company I worked for would pay my salary while I took this time off to be with my children. Also, creative ways to spend happy and productive days with the children came to thought, which enabled the five weeks to pass harmoniously.
But at the very end of the quarantine time, both children caught the disease. As I cared for them, I again turned to the Bible.
What came to the rescue this time was a story about the prophet Elisha (see II Kings 6:8-23). Elisha’s awareness of the ever-presence of God had at first kept his people from being attacked by the Syrian king’s armies through avoidance. But then, in a place called Dothan, he found himself surrounded by these armies, who had the king’s orders to capture him.
Yet Elisha’s faith in the allness of God never wavered. He was able to discern that even where an enemy surrounds, God is round about, and the divine power is supreme. Instead of just escaping the enemy, Elisha fearlessly spoke with them and led them to a different location. By the time they realized who Elisha was, they were in enemy territory, but Elisha fed them and sent them home in peace.
I suddenly saw that we are divinely equipped to confront fear of the enemy (in this case the disease) head on. Disease is powerless to take away our health, because God is All, and has created us in His image: the spiritual expression of God’s purity and goodness. And we can prove this spiritual reality in our lives.
I still remember how rapidly both children were healed, recovering much more quickly than was usual for that illness.
As I pray for all in the face of the present pandemic, I am treasuring the ever-presence of God, good, round about us all. Each of us can look to God and feel the power of the law of God’s allness, which brings release from fear and inspires healing.