Inseparable from God’s guidance
No matter where we are or what the circumstances may be, we can never be separated from God, who is divine Mind and Love. Prayer for ourselves and for others brings this inseparability to light, revealing practical solutions and clear pathways forward.
A recent documentary film, “The Rescue,” depicts the remarkable 2018 rescue of 12 boys and their soccer coach from deep inside a flooded cave in Thailand. The movie masterfully reveals how difficult the situation was, and how the faith of those supporting the rescue efforts, the teamwork of the search and rescue responders, and the resolve of all involved led to dramatic success.
Watching the film and seeing the faith of those involved, I was reminded of the Apostle Paul’s teaching in Scripture where he asks what can possibly separate us from Christly love, and offers the answer, “I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38, 39).
Paul faced many harrowing circumstances during his life and ministry, and throughout his writings he compels readers to understand that, no matter how difficult the human situation, there are always spiritual answers. He recognized that knowing one’s inseparability from God is the foundation to resolution.
The movie also made me recall a time when our children were young, and for a weekend outing I thought it would be fun to take them to a cave I had explored as a kid. Our family packed a lunch and some flashlights, and we headed out. In hindsight, I could see that I should have told someone else where we were going, but it didn’t occur to me at the time. After some hours of exploring inside the cave, we were ready to head back up to the sunshine.
As we started to make our way out, though, it became clear after a while that we were going in circles and not making progress toward the exit. My wife and daughters waited patiently while I searched, but I simply could not find the way out. We were down to our last working flashlight, and the gravity of the situation was weighing heavily.
I had been praying for guidance and for peace of mind as I searched. But I decided to stop searching for a moment, sit quietly, and pray in earnest. It wasn’t that there was no way out of the cave; it existed and only needed to be revealed. I knew from praying at other times in my life that prayer quiets fear, opens thought to divine guidance, and enables us to find answers to our needs.
My prayer was for God – divine Mind, who knows all needs, and divine Love, who meets all needs – to show me what to do. The answer that came to me immediately was not what I was expecting: “You need more humility.”
I had felt responsible for finding the way out, since I was the one who had gotten us there and had been there before. But my prayers led me to humbly acknowledge that the solution was not up to me, but that God was directing us all. I knew that others, too, were receptive to divine Mind and Love, and I saw that it might be others who could find the way.
I asked my wife if she would search, which she readily agreed to do, while I waited with the children. Within minutes she gave a shout and let us know she had found the way out.
We all have our own “lost in a cave” moments – times where the situation looks grim, we feel trapped, and a way out of the darkness has not been found. Spiritual pioneer Mary Baker Eddy wrote: “Remember, thou canst be brought into no condition, be it ever so severe, where Love has not been before thee and where its tender lesson is not awaiting thee. Therefore despair not nor murmur, for that which seeketh to save, to heal, and to deliver, will guide thee, if thou seekest this guidance” (“The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany,” pp. 149-150).
Amidst any difficult situation, we can stop, be still, and pray to quiet fear and to be guided. Doing so brings our thinking into the awareness of our inseparability from the presence of divine Love, and leads us to find spiritual answers that meet the specific and immediate needs.
It was notable at the end of “The Rescue” that those who had been leading the rescue efforts spoke openly and gratefully about the impact of knowing that people around the world had been praying for everyone involved. How good it is to know that even in difficult situations at the community, national, and international levels, prayer is effective.
Never underestimate the impact of your prayers in bringing light to everyone’s inseparability from God and to spiritually inspired solutions for yourself, your family, your community, and all.