God's care is constant
Can anything occur in the future that God can't take care of?
What's going to happen tomorrow? Perhaps we're wondering, "Who's going to buy my house?" or "What's next in the management setup at work?" Whatever the question, behind it is often a lurking fear that maybe things won't turn out right.
One of the priceless advantages of studying Christian Science is learning how trusting in God through prayer can resolve daily problems, including anxiety about what lies ahead. For centuries people have been proving that God's care is constant, and the Bible has recorded some of their experiences. Think how comforting it must have been for Joshua to hear God's words "As I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee."
The passage of years hasn't changed this divine promise. Every one of us today can feel God's presence and the encouragement of knowing that infinite Spirit will never fail or forsake us, no matter how difficult a situation appears. The abundant provision of goodness, which divine Love is forever imparting to its creation, isn't here today and then gone tomorrow. God's care is impartial, consistent, never fluctuating.
The trouble is, most of us, including me, become entranced with trying to figure out what's going to happen next. While there's nothing wrong with intelligent planning for the future, I've learned that right here, in the present moment, my first need is to pray. Prayer lifts thought away from considering plan A or plan B (both of which may include self-will) to realizing God's majesty and omnipotence. Yielding to the control of all-knowing Spirit, or divine Mind, by giving up pride, envy, personal ambition, brings solutions that benefit everyone.
But what if concern about the future has to do with our physical well-being? I recall a time when I telephoned my friend Edith to ask her if she wanted a ride the next day to an activity I knew she'd like to attend. But Edith had fallen and hurt her foot. She'd been praying about it and had made some progress. However, she said, "I'm not sure my shoe will go on my foot by tomorrow morning. Even if it does, I'll have to get down the stairs and walk out to the car."
That was when I told Edith about a small incident I'd had in college that helped me understand more about God's constant care. I'd been a member of a women's group participating in a May Day sing contest that was being held in the school auditorium. Each chorus, which included about forty people, was to go up on the stage and sing two songs, accompanied by its own pianist. I was seated with our group, waiting our turn, when several members started squirming and whispering, "Who's going to move the piano?"
The sizable grand piano was in the wrong place! It was way over on stage right. The chorus performing at the moment was happily singing with it there. Our group had practiced with the piano at center stage so we could stand around it and do hand movements. Who was going to move the piano before we sang?
At this point Edith and I had a good laugh thinking about my college friends and this rather insignificant problem—although at the time it had seemed disastrous.
I told Edith it finally occurred to me that instead of worrying about what might happen five minutes away, I could pray in the present. It was a simple prayer—recognizing that God, infinite intelligence, was there at that very moment, and the next, and the next. I've often found that once fear has been replaced with confident trust in the divine, things work out in a natural way. That's what happened. As our group started to the stage, the stage manager came out with an assistant and moved the piano.
Edith immediately saw the connection with her own situation. Worrying about what might happen the next day when she needed to walk downstairs was as unproductive as the anxiety my friends and I had had about who was going to move the piano. Whatever the need, God's care for His offspring doesn't change.
Instead of worrying about what might happen five minutes away, I could pray in the present.
When there are physical challenges, the prayer of spiritual understanding makes it clear that God's child never was, is not now, and never will be an injured mortal selfhood separated from God's love, waiting to regain health. The view of man's true identity is altogether different from the physical picture.
As God's unchanging spiritual likeness—the image of Spirit—man possesses perfect health and harmonious movement now and always. A statement of Mrs. Eddy's in Science and Health tells us, "The relations of God and man, divine Principle and idea, are indestructible in Science; and Science knows no lapse from nor return to harmony, but holds the divine order or spiritual law, in which God and all that He creates are perfect and eternal, to have remained unchanged in its eternal history."
As we were hanging up, Edith said, "Just honk the horn when you come by tomorrow." The next day Edith did indeed put on her shoe, come down the stairs, and walk out to the car—smiling all the way.
If we're worried about what's around the next corner—whether it has to do with our health, finances, employment, or schoolwork—applying the words and works of the Master can give us great reassurance. Christ Jesus understood how to prove God's care better than anyone else ever has. He lived each day in the present and encouraged his followers to do the same. "Take... no thought for the morrow," he said, but seek first the kingdom of God, and your needs will be taken care of.
Sometimes it takes a while for those of us who are trying to follow Jesus' teachings in today's world to realize that our main priority is to put God first and depend on His constant care. But once we do this, why be worried about what's going to happen tomorrow? God's care will still be there.