Trusting God, our divine Dad

Whatever difficulty we may be facing, we can turn to God as a reliable source of strength, guidance, and love.

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“Dad, I need your help.”

These words were a prayer – my prayer to God, the divine Father of every single one of us.

I was worried. Worried about my family, about my church, about the world. I hadn’t thought of God in such intimate terms as Dad or Daddy before; I’d always thought of Him in a more formal way as Father. But that night I needed the tenderness and closeness of a divine Dad, and I found it.

In the midst of my desperation, I felt God’s presence and found the strength to carry on in my role as dad to my children. I learned that night, and continue to learn, that the awareness of God as the Father of each of us loosens the grip of worry and fear.

When facing anxiety, we can ask ourselves what may be a startling question: “How much do I trust God?” And with it may come another question: “Can I trust God?”

To answer that question, it helps to understand who and what God is. The Bible describes God as a tender, caring Shepherd (see Psalm 23) and the sovereign source of protection (see Psalm 91). And the author of First John gives a most beautiful definition of God: “God is love” (4:8).

God is unending, supportive, all-inclusive, divine Father-Mother Love. God cherishes all of us as we truly are – as His own children – bestowing on us unlimited divine mercy, kindness, peace, and happiness. God is worthy of our trust. The divine Love never ceases, wanes, or grows old; rather, it continually renews and redeems our lives.

Here’s a good definition of the kind of trust we can put in this God of pure good, our Father: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3:5, 6).

That is what trusting God is – acknowledging the divine omnipresence, omnipotence, and omniscience in every situation and listening deep in our hearts for His guidance. Trust is a spiritual muscle that we strengthen by keeping God’s nature – His all-power, ever-presence, and comforting, healing love – uppermost in our thinking and by allowing God to govern our actions.

More than anyone else, Jesus taught us how to have the courage to flex this spiritual muscle and build our trust in God. During his ministry, he faced danger, ridicule, and even the possible failure of his mission. As his disciples often did not seem up to the task of carrying on his work, it may have been tempting for him to worry about the ongoing impact of his lifework. During that agonizing night before his crucifixion, he showed all of us how to pray in stressful situations when he said to his divine Father, “Thy will be done” (Matthew 26:42).

It may not have been easy for Jesus to come to that conclusion, to trust God even when facing assassination, but more than anyone else he knew and had proved that God is Love. Love never wills sickness, danger, injustice, or death. Love’s will unfolds goodness, health, holiness, life, and victory. Jesus demonstrated this for us, as God’s good will for him turned crucifixion into resurrection.

We can understand our real nature as God’s creation to be spiritual, Godlike. All of us the world over are not, in fact, struggling, fearful, dying mortals, but God’s own spiritual creation, wise, intelligent, whole, able, and good. Who would worry about this identity?

The discoverer of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, wrote this about man (each of us) as the child of God: “Spirit is his primitive and ultimate source of being; God is his Father, and Life is the law of his being” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 63).

We can trust our Father, divine Life, more each day as the guiding, guarding, infinitely loving, divine presence always with us, those we love, and everyone. And we can trust the true selfhood of each of us as God’s child. As Mrs. Eddy wrote to a student, “Yes, my student, my Father is your Father; and He helps us most when help is most needed, for He is the ever-present help” (“Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896,” p. 157). None of us is outside the all-loving embrace and guidance of our divine Dad.

Adapted from an editorial published in the June 13, 2022, issue of the Christian Science Sentinel.

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