Grateful for God’s presence

Two healings that I had within the last couple of years brought me a deeper understanding and awareness of God’s presence, for which I am most grateful. 

One evening, I was suddenly seized with an overwhelming pain in my back that almost immobilized me. I managed to get ready for bed, and I lay there quietly praying, though I was unable to find a comfortable position. As I listened for God’s guidance, the thought came that He was right there with me, and I endeavored to understand more deeply what that entailed. 

Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science, identified several biblically based synonyms for God, including Love, Mind, and Spirit. I thought of divine Love and what that beautiful presence includes—comfort, peace, healing, trust, safety, goodness. Divine Mind, the source of all intelligence, was providing me with inspiration, understanding, guidance, clarity, and knowledge. Divine Spirit was giving strength, holiness, purity, harmony. I continued diligently pondering the depth of each of these names for God, as well as Life, Soul, Principle, and Truth, letting my consciousness be filled with the endless good qualities they express. As I let these qualities envelop me, I felt an even deeper sense of God’s presence, and along with it, an inner calm. During the night the pain just melted away, and I was deeply grateful. 

Shortly after that, though, I felt nauseated. I continued to pray in the same way, and by morning, the nausea had dissipated—but then I had a fever. I spent a quiet day pondering all that I had learned during the night and being grateful for my deepening understanding of God’s presence and power. I’m thankful to say that by the end of the day, I was completely free and have remained so. 

I was reminded of an inspiring experience related in the Bible. The prophet Elijah had fled from people who sought to kill him, and was faced with wind, earthquake, and fire on Mount Horeb (see I Kings 19:9–12). He saw that the Lord was not in these destructive elements, but rather that His “still small voice” was there to guide and comfort Elijah. I was grateful to see that God was not in any of the physical problems I had experienced, and that His allness had dissolved each one.

A few months later, I was earnestly contemplating a passage in Mrs. Eddy’s writings: “To impersonalize scientifically the material sense of existence—rather than cling to personality—is the lesson of to-day” (Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, p. 310). I had read that passage many times, but it was illuminated in a much deeper way on this particular day. I saw more clearly than ever that since God is Spirit, and man (the spiritual identity of each of us) is created in God’s image, as we learn in Genesis 1, this image must be completely spiritual like the creator. God is All, and therefore, anything unlike God doesn’t actually exist and cannot attach itself to His likeness, so the material scene does not report what’s true about God’s child. I was greatly absorbed in this prayer as I applied this idea to various challenges in my own life and in our world today. 

That evening, I was making soup for dinner. As I strained out the boiling broth, my hand slipped, and the hot broth poured onto the other hand. I had been pondering Mrs. Eddy’s statement quoted earlier about separating the material sense of existence from God’s child, and when the spill happened I felt only a slight sensation of heat. I did not even look at the hand, but washed the broth off and continued chopping vegetables for the soup. I felt God’s loving presence in what was almost wordless prayer. 

About half an hour later, when my husband and I sat down to dinner, there was suddenly an excruciating pain where the fingers had been scalded. I hadn’t mentioned the incident to my husband and didn’t want to disturb our cozy dinner, so I just continued to hold to that peaceful sense of God’s ever-presence. In a few minutes, the pain disappeared. I felt the pain a couple more times during the evening, but each time I held to God’s presence, and that was the end of it. Later in the week, I noticed fresh new skin where the burn had been.

I was so grateful for a deeper insight into the mental nature of a material sense of existence and the importance of yielding to the spiritual sense—to the fact that we truly live in God’s kingdom now, where there is no injury but only His harmony. I am filled with deep gratitude for God’s love and presence. 

Alexandra Hawley 
Atherton, California, US 

Testimony of Healing
Saved from drowning
January 17, 2022

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