There have been times when I diligently prayed in order to feel God’s presence. It seems that most of the time, we don’t see a large billboard showing God’s answer to our prayers, but if we watch carefully and listen closely, God gives little reminders of His presence and protection.
In the mid-1980s I was running a consulting company in the Middle East. My wife and I lived in Kuwait and had a residence in Oman, and frequently traveled between most of the Middle Eastern countries in the Arabian Gulf. At that time, there were a number of airline hijackings, and this was of great concern to many who traveled within the Middle East and Europe.
On one occasion I was in London, preparing to return to Kuwait. During that time, several Middle Eastern airliners were hijacked, and there were threats of terrorists intending to hijack multiple Kuwaiti airliners throughout the week.
I became very concerned and prayed for a better understanding of the guidance provided by Mary Baker Eddy in the Church Manual. She states: “In Science, divine Love alone governs man; and a Christian Scientist reflects the sweet amenities of Love, in rebuking sin, in true brotherliness, charitableness, and forgiveness” (p. 40).
Fearful thinking and conjuring up “what if” scenarios were not exemplifying divine Love. Fear and doubt do not rebuke sin; and in this instance, they only strengthened the lie that children of God were capable of terror, hatred, and acts of evil. My prayer was mainly focused on feeling a sense of God’s all-power, of God’s love and protection for me and for all who traveled, and to know that Love alone is the motivating power of man.
The night before I was to fly back to Kuwait, I prayed and thought deeply about these verses in Psalm 139, and the Psalmist’s prayer for assurance of God’s protection, and his acknowledgment that God is everywhere present and always with us: “Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me” (Psalms 139:7–10).
Those thoughts calmed me and bolstered my confidence. When I arrived at the airport the next morning, I was still somewhat concerned, but then God gave me a little reminder. As I walked toward the boarding gate, I looked out the window of the terminal and saw the front of the huge British Airways 747 that I was preparing to board. Painted on the side of the plane, just under the cockpit window, was the plane’s name: “Wings of the Morning.”
I thanked God for the wonderful assurance and sense of relief, and I boarded the plane. I had a wonderful flight to Kuwait, and made it back to my wife safe and sound, my thoughts of fear and doubt left behind in London.
—McCaysville, Georgia, US,