[Written Especially for Young People]

Help in Time of Need

In the lives of most children, and also later, when they are entering upon fuller experiences, examinations are part of their normal education at school, college, or even when starting in business. These examinations are tests of their ability, knowledge, and industry; they are usually competitive, and the way in which a youth acquits himself may largely determine his place and opportunity in the wider world awaiting him. Knowing this, an examination may loom before the child or young student as something to be dreaded—as an experience causing anxiety bordering on distress, a time of strain; while cramming into memory facts, dates, and such human knowledge as may be deemed necessary to pass an examination will be likely to increase the sense of fear and inharmony, until the youthful consciousness is not by any means at its best for tackling the problems involved in examinations. Added to this comes, perhaps, the suggestion of lack of time to assimilate the information supposed to be required for the occasion; and a state of tension is likely to occur which will render the task doubly hard.

Let us suppose that a young student of Christian Science has before him some examination, the result of which seems to him and to those interested in his welfare extremely important to his future. How will he begin to think about the approaching test of his attainments and value? We will assume that he has been taught something of the practical nature of this Science of Life, and is familiar with the Bible and with "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy. He may remember the verse in Psalms: "Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them. Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well."

The Hebrew word "Baca" means weeping; and the same thought is brought out by Mrs. Eddy in her definition of "valley" in the Glossary of Science and Health (p. 596), which reads in part: "Depression; meekness; darkness. ... Christian Science, contradicting sense, maketh the valley to bud and blossom as the rose." Such texts show that though a testing time may seem severe, the pure spring of inspiring thoughts, bringing a sense of the sustaining power and presence of divine Love, is always present to draw upon. So the young student will begin at once to approach the experience from a standpoint of confidence instead of trepidation. He will understand what Mrs. Eddy meant when she said (ibid., p. 66), "Trials are proofs of God's care." By turning to God for a proof of His loving care, the youthful student can remember what he has been taught as to the true nature of God. Such synonyms as Mind, Principle, and Love will certainly aid him to understand whence and in what manner the desired aid, intelligence, and support are coming to him. He has probably proved already, in some degree, the availability of God as Love; and now he sees his opportunity to learn that God is also Mind, and that as there is only one Mind, one intelligence, he himself has no other intelligence than that which is the reflection of infinite Mind.

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