We have a sure spiritual response to uncertainty or despair : God knows.
Questions, both minor and momentous, fill our days. Where did I put my phone? What shall I do or say? Can this sickness be healed? When will the world find peace?
Sometimes we figure things out on our own. But when answers don’t come, resignation can creep in. “Who knows?” becomes not an honest question but a defeated shrug.
Resignation was my default for a long time, especially when hoped-for events or solutions didn’t happen. Being passively reconciled to whatever transpired felt better than anguish and frustration, yet it never brought happiness. And that’s what I really wanted.
A pivotal change took place after I began experiencing recurring bouts of depression while in college. One week I’d feel on top of things; the next I’d be despondent. This cycle continued for many months, and I was totally resigned to it, expecting lows on a regular basis.
Then something awoke in my thinking—an unwillingness to accept as normal anything that isn’t Godlike. I recognized this mental rebellion. During my years in Christian Science Sunday School, I’d learned that God and His goodness are the only realities. I’d also been taught to resist what the Bible calls false prophets—in this case, the story lines of mortal belief suggesting that good outcomes were at the mercy of fate or that good was absent from my life and the world.
I decided to align my thinking with divine goodness as actual and permanent.
That moment was a watershed for me. I decided to align my thinking with divine goodness as actual and permanent, and the heavy loads of resignation and fatalism started to give way. I grasped something of Christ Jesus’ promise “I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you” (Luke 10:19). God’s all-embracing power ensures this complete authority for all His children over “enemy” insinuations that evil is present to make us sad or sick. The depression lifted and has never returned.
It’s worth considering the question “Who knows?” from a spiritual perspective. In Scripture, God is identified with mind, the primal source of intelligence. Job declares, for instance, “He is in one mind, and who can turn him? and what his soul desireth, even that he doeth” (Job 23:13). Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science, capitalizes the term mind, defining Mind in part as “the one God; not that which is in man, but the divine Principle, or God, of whom man is the full and perfect expression” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 591).
As infinite Mind, God is all-knowing. But what exactly does He know? Christ Jesus’ lesson on prayer affirms, “Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him” (Matthew 6:8). To some, this implies that God is conscious of the entire spectrum of human experience, including both good and evil. And it’s been argued that God must know evil as well as good in order to exercise power over evil.
In another of her writings, though, Mrs. Eddy explains: “God is All, and by virtue of this nature and allness He is cognizant only of good. Like a legislative bill that governs millions of mortals whom the legislators know not, the universal law of God has no knowledge of evil, and enters unconsciously the human heart and governs it” (Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, p. 208).
This truth is deeply comforting. A deity who is cognizant of evil would necessarily recognize it as a reality. The God who knows no evil exposes it as nonexistent, without substance or influence. Glimpsing this even to a small degree destroys the evidence of evil, as my healing of depression decidedly proved.
Still, I had often wondered about Jesus’ assertion that God knows what we need. Did this mean that the divine Mind knew the details of my college experience and even my future? Does God have to be aware of everyone’s human circumstances in order to address them?
Because God knows His own good nature, every detail of that nature is revealed in and to us, God’s very likeness.
As I prayed through these questions, some divine facts settled into consciousness. Because God knows His own good nature, every detail of that nature is revealed in and to us, God’s very likeness. Our real needs—such as purpose and identity, companionship and health—are spiritual. Their uninterrupted fulfillment is the natural expression of His infinite goodness and ceaseless care. And what we see as wants or deficiencies are misperceptions of these shining realities.
Even if we seem mired in misperceptions, a gentle yet vigorous power is present in human consciousness to rout them: Christ, the truth of God and of us, which was consummately demonstrated in Jesus’ life and ministry. From his virgin birth and unparalleled record of healing to his resurrection, Jesus displayed the might of Christ to reach and redeem humanity. He showed us how an understanding of God transforms our thoughts and lives.
Pondering this often brings about a profound reorienting of thought. For me, it has meant refusing to agonize about things from the past or worry over the present and future. It’s becoming more natural to instead ask God in prayer how He knows me, and everyone else in His creation. I’m no longer defeatedly wondering “Who knows?” because I’m convinced that divine Mind knows each of its ideas intimately and that our concerns will be answered through God’s Christ in ways we can comprehend. I’ve seen proof of this over and over, not only for me but also for others who have replaced attitudes of long-suffering and apathy with spiritual expectancy and confidence in God, good.
Mrs. Eddy offers further clarification about how God’s omniscience relates to us: “God pities our woes with the love of a Father for His child,—not by becoming human, and knowing sin, or naught, but by removing our knowledge of what is not. He could not destroy our woes totally if He possessed any knowledge of them. His sympathy is divine, not human. It is Truth’s knowledge of its own infinitude which forbids the genuine existence of even a claim to error. This knowledge is light wherein there is no darkness,—not light holding darkness within itself. The consciousness of light is like the eternal law of God, revealing Him and nothing else” (No and Yes, p. 30).
We have a sure spiritual response to uncertainty or despair: God knows. And what God knows—the divinely perfect nature of His creation—He makes known to us. This knowledge brings healing. No question about it.