Sometimes learning about God may be low in a list of pressing priorities (or absent from it altogether). But to know God’s nature and presence is to find the inspiration, love, and healing that meet our everyday needs, as a man experienced when he fell ill and feared for his life.

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While attending college, I spent time wondering what to do with the rest of my life. One afternoon while entertaining career possibilities, I thought about becoming a full-time Christian Science healer. No sooner did the option pop into my mind than I thought: “You can’t do that. You would have to think about God all the time!”

Thinking about God all the time felt ludicrous. There were so many other demands to think about. The list of other things to do seemed endless.

But as I considered the scope of God as infinite and omnipresent, as I had learned from my upbringing and my study of Christian Science, I remembered that God is not a sideshow. God is the main event. God is Life. Everything good is included within God’s infinitude. It was a jolting perspective to consider.

In a material, mortal view of the world, God can start to feel remote, irrelevant, even nonexistent. But Christ Jesus came to show us that we can look to God first for life and support. When hungry people needed food, he prayed to God with spiritual understanding, and they were fed. When sick people pleaded for health, he prayed to God, and they found themselves strong and healthy. He said, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need” (Luke 12:31, New Living Translation). Jesus’ understanding of health, life, and provision in God enabled him to overcome the constraints of mortality and demonstrate that human needs of all kinds can be met through the love of God.

We can prove the reality of God’s care today. The Bible documents how God has spoken to humanity over the centuries through Christ, pointing the way out of mortality to immortality. The Christian Science textbook, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by Mary Baker Eddy, explains how to put the teachings of the Bible into practice and to heal as Jesus expected his followers to heal.

In Christian Science, God is not a mysterious power that is hard to relate to. God is the Principle of all existence, the Mind that orders the universe, the Life that sustains all being, the Love that unites all. God is all good. With God, one has everything necessary to stay healthy, to live abundantly, and to be happy. We all experience extreme difficulties at times but to know God’s presence is to find the inspiration, love, and support that meet the need of the moment.

Many years ago, on the night I returned to my home from a trip overseas, I became very ill. I prayed, affirming that God was present and could heal, but my health was failing fast. At a point when I was barely able to think one or two words at a time, and was afraid that if I lost consciousness I would never wake up, my thoughts landed on the single word “God.”

This word held deep meaning for me. I knew that God was my Life, and could never be threatened, sickened, or lost. With this realization, a wave of peace swept through consciousness. I lost all fear of death and felt assured that everything was going to be OK. I decided it was all right to fall asleep for rest, feeling confident that I was safe because God was caring for me. When I awoke two hours later, I felt 90 percent well, and the remaining vestige of illness was gone very soon. The healing was decisive and welcomed.

Armed with a keen awareness of the power and presence of God as our divine Parent, who created us in the spiritual image of the Divine, we can defeat suffering and maintain order and peace. Science and Health states: “Rise in the strength of Spirit to resist all that is unlike good. God has made man capable of this, and nothing can vitiate the ability and power divinely bestowed on man” (p. 393). Each of us possesses spiritual might to claim our divine right to health, to resolve conflict with love, to act without fear, and to better our experience. We are divinely empowered to feel Life’s blessings to the fullest! Each day is an opportunity to exercise this power as we grow in spiritual understanding.

There isn’t anything more important to do than to understand God. To know God is to readily recognize God’s benefits. As I glimpsed many years ago when seeking direction for my life, when you have God, you have everything.

Adapted from an article published in the March 16, 2020, issue of the Christian Science Sentinel.

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.