God really was with me

Originally appeared online in the teen series: Turning Point - July 6, 2021. 

I was the kid who sometimes caused trouble in Christian Science Sunday School—like once when I brought a frog in my pocket. There were also times when I struggled to pay attention, even though I really did try to listen. Then I had a dramatic experience that showed me that what I was learning in Sunday School was practical. It saved my life! 

During a vacation in the mountains in Canada with my sister when I was in my early teens, I was fooling around, jumping from one rock to another on the edge of an overlook, when suddenly the rocks under me gave way, and I found myself falling straight down toward the river below. Desperately, I scrabbled at the side of the mountain as it rushed by, looking for anything solid to grab on to. But all I came away with was handfuls of sand. It seemed like there was nothing to stop my fall.

Then I realized that there was only one thing bigger than this horrifying situation. It was God. And I knew then that there was help at hand—spiritual help.

In a flash, I remembered a story that my Sunday School teacher had told me about a soldier during World War II who fell off the back of a ship. The situation looked pretty hopeless, but as he prayed, he realized that God was everywhere and was protecting him. He was rescued and lived to tell the story.

Suddenly the rocks under me gave way, and I found myself falling straight down toward the river below.

The story went through my mind in a split second. In that moment, I also felt God’s presence and protection, and I knew God was with me every minute, everywhere. It’s hard to describe, but instead of feeling helpless and alone, I felt like God was watching over me, so I didn’t need to be afraid.

Suddenly, a long root about the size of a handrail appeared, running right to left across the face of the mountain. My hands grabbed on to it, and below me, my feet felt unexpectedly secure on a thin rock ledge. I was able to follow the root and ledge to stable ground, where some small trees were growing. Below me, the rock I had been jumping on up on the overlook plunged the rest of the way down the mountain (about forty feet), smashing into pieces. 

I couldn’t help but believe in God after that. And I’ve experienced God’s care in many other situations since then.

I was able to make my way back to the parking lot, feeling as though I had just witnessed a miracle. But I knew from Sunday School that it hadn’t been a miracle; it had been proof of God’s saving presence and power.

I couldn’t help but believe in God after that. And I’ve experienced God’s care in many other situations since then, including being protected from a serious motorcycle accident. 

I’m so grateful for the understanding I gained in Sunday School that God really is “a very present help in trouble” (Psalms 46:1 ). 

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