Drought conditions and earnest prayer
As I prayed, the sky became overcast and it began to rain.
Originally published for the Christian Science Sentinel online on January 12, 2023
While on vacation last August, I drove across Texas, which has been struck with severe drought conditions for the past several months. On top of that, nearly every day during the previous few weeks had featured temperatures over a hundred degrees. As I drove through the lower Panhandle, it was even hotter than when I had left Dallas, where I live. One service station could not let me use their restroom because they didn’t have enough water.
I have had many healings through the study of Christian Science, and although they included gaining freedom from severe physical challenges, the real healing was in the spiritualization of thought—in attaining the higher understanding that God is infinite Mind and governs the universe in perfect harmony. Knowing this, I reasoned that drought was no more real than any sickness I had dealt with. If all that is real is Mind’s creation, then harmony has to be universal.
A biblical description of universal harmony is “the kingdom of God” (Matthew 6:33). To demonstrate this kingdom with respect to drought in North Texas is to apply God’s law of harmony, which corrects the false concept, drought, wherever it appears. If the spiritual fact is true in North Texas, it is true anywhere—and vice versa. It would be wrong to feel deprived or envious because it rains “over there” but not “over here.” Neither is it right to pray for rain “over here” and be content that it does not rain “over there.” That is not God’s law of universal harmony. Christian Science rejects the notion that God’s kingdom is local or regional. Harmony operates locally because it is universal. Since God’s law is universal, the harmony that exists in one place is the result of a universal law that reliably produces harmony everywhere.
When we are facing drought, it may seem that there is something wrong with God’s creation that must be fixed. But did God design His creation with built-in hardships? No. Mary Baker Eddy’s Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures describes as “the eternal wonder” the fact “that infinite space is peopled with God’s ideas, reflecting Him in countless spiritual forms” (p. 503). Drought is a suggestion of limitation and lack, a contradiction of reality, which is forever good. Asking God for rain isn’t what healing prayer is all about. Instead, it’s about understanding God as divine Love, infinite Mind. God’s creation expresses God, everywhere and in every way. You and I and the universe are God’s knowing of His own goodness and perfection. Creation is perfect because the creator is perfect.
The fundamental lie of drought is that weather conditions constitute a power that challenges and usurps God’s supremacy and that we have to submit to this as corporeal beings who are subject to matter.
Rather than focus on a material problem (lack of rain) or material relief (rain), we can know the oneness of God and man as divine, infinite Principle and idea—God and His spiritual creation. The only suffering is from the belief that discord can be real. Neither disease nor drought has any reality. The effect of drought is just the false belief that drought can be real. So our target is the belief, and the need is for a change of thought. Now we have drought right where we can abolish it.
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. . . . Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies” (Psalms 23:1, 5). Especially where drought seems most real and most damaging, here is where our unwavering stand for the supremacy of God, good, is most needed and most powerful.
After I returned home from vacation, I prayed with these thoughts and began to write them down. As I prayed, the sky became overcast and it began to rain. Very soon the temperature had dropped by thirty degrees and there was a wonderful downpour, which had not been forecast. According to local meteorologists, this brought some much-needed, if temporary, relief.
What happened? Did I make it rain? No. The effect of Christian Science is to reveal the universal harmony that is already true. What more do we need? The treatment that corrects the lie of drought brings to light the evidence of God’s harmonious creation. This is the activity of the Christ or Truth. Mrs. Eddy writes, “The divine Principle of healing is proved in the personal experience of any sincere seeker of Truth” (Science and Health, p. x).
Christian Science doesn’t perform miracles. It doesn’t conjure up laws that don’t already exist. “The true Logos is demonstrably Christian Science, the natural law of harmony which overcomes discord,—not because this Science is supernatural or preternatural, nor because it is an infraction of divine law, but because it is the immutable law of God, good” (Science and Health, p. 134).
God’s law is always in operation. Discord is the belief that God’s law could falter or fail or that it is absent or designed to punish us. The truth is that God’s law is never dormant, never faulty, never absent, always good. The beauty of Christian Science is that it demonstrates this fact. We need only apply this law of universal harmony in our own experience day by day, and we will see its evidence in every part of our lives.