Some years ago, I had been reading a passage from the weekly Christian Science Bible Lesson. It was the prophet Isaiah assuring his people that God had said: “When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee” (Isaiah 43:2).
I could see that it wasn’t just a beautiful metaphor. It was articulating how precise and how complete God’s care of us actually is.
Later that morning, as I was preparing breakfast for the family, I turned my back to our gas stove. Our son looked up at me and said in astonishment, “Mom, you’re on fire!” In fact, my clothing had ignited when it drifted across the burner, and flames were shooting up my back.
Instantly, that Bible verse came to thought. I felt no fear, just a deep sense of being loved and cared for. And without any fuss, I stopped, dropped, and rolled, extinguishing the flames. But what so impressed me was that my hair was not even singed, nor was there anything but the slightest fraying of a hem on my vest. It was as if it had never happened.
Christian Science has taught me there’s a divine law behind God’s promises of care. A law that is universal and inclusive of all, and one we can see applying to our current needs as we reach out in prayer.
Later that same week, after days of rain, the river near our home burst its banks and flooded the area. I watched the dark waters edge up our backyard to within a few feet of our daughter’s bedroom. That reassurance of the divine care of all creation, so continuously present with God, who is unchanging and eternal Love, again filled my heart with calm and trust. By afternoon, though the rains had continued, the waters gently receded, leaving our home untouched.
These two experiences of protection have encouraged me as I’ve prayed to support those feeling besieged by forest fires as well as those deluged by hurricanes. The prophet Isaiah was right. No matter what we’re facing, we can find God is with us. God’s care is never an empty promise, but a spiritual law to meet our needs.