"My presence shall go with thee"

The thought of being alone with God, which forms the theme of a well-known Christian hymn, may seem rather paradoxical, but it is not. This word "alone" is uncanny to many today, and it has terrified millions in the past. It has brought dread to those who have no sense of God as infinite, ever-present Love. The mother by the bedside of her child may fancy herself single-handed in the fight with sickness; even her kind-hearted physician may think himself alone in the effort to save the child. The business man may feel himself to be alone with his problem. These all forget that only God can enable us to solve life's problems aright. The problem of each is indeed his own, he has to learn his lesson for himself; but he must trust Principle to solve it, just as he trusts Principle to furnish the answer in mathematics. Since every problem, physical, financial, mental, or moral, must be solved by Principle, we are never alone with our so-called problem. The condition from which we are saved is an individual condition or experience, and our salvation is therefore individual; but the realization of Christ, Truth, with us as our Saviour, proves we are not alone. Were it otherwise, we could not be saved.

In Lamentations the prophet Jeremiah declares, "It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord." Salvation is not through human effort, through lonely endeavor on our own part, "for it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do." Nor need we help God to fight error. God does not fight error or evil, any more than light fights darkness. All the darkness in the world, if condensed into one body, could not extinguish the light of a little candle, for though faint, it creates and sustains its own area of radiance. The only help we can give to God is in a childlike self-surrender. Jesus made this plain to those about him when he said, "Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." He was the first to master evil,—not as concrete evil, nor as matter, but as a mistaken belief that human sense is alone in its struggle.

Jesus proved for all time that while one must walk on the level of individual experience, he can walk with God. He supplanted the terror of human isolation with the tenderness of inspired individuality. In "Miscellaneous Writings" our revered Leader says, "Whatever is possible to God, is possible to man as God's reflection" (p. 183). David did not stop to measure the giant whom he faced. He did not think himself alone or fancy he was about to engage in an unequal contest. Persuaded to try Saul's armor, he found it worse than useless; a shining pebble from the singing brook was enough. We find the armor of material sense a mockery, but, trusting in God, we find ourselves in the majority.

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Birth in Truth
February 14, 1914

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