The peace that quiets the storm

Learning to know and trust God more every day brings peace to our hearts. It’s a way to gain the sweet assurance that all is well, regardless of what discordant or even dangerous situations seem to arise. Christian Science explains how this peace of mind can be perpetual—and that it heals!

Here are some ways I’ve learned to think about spiritual peace. In the Bible, Christ Jesus explained, “With God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26). Why is that? Because God is infinite, all-powerful Love, and governs by divine law. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science, defines God in her primary work Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures as “the great I am; the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-acting, all-wise, all-loving, and eternal; Principle; Mind; Soul; Spirit; Life; Truth; Love; all substance; intelligence” (p. 587).

Since God is the sole creator and is infinite and eternal, His law is the only law governing creation. The Apostle Paul recognized the might of this divine government when he proclaimed, “The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2). And since God is omnipotent good, there is no circumstance that can counter this supreme goodness. When we trust that God is good and is always in control, fear dissolves, danger is dethroned, and calm ensues.

One scriptural example of this is the story of the prophet Elijah, who received a death threat after destroying the prophets of the pagan god Baal (see I Kings 19:1–16). Totally discouraged by the threat—and by the people’s abandonment of God—he ran for his life into the wilderness. Hiding in a cave, the prophet heard God’s direction to go up to a mountain, where he witnessed a great wind, an earthquake, and a fire. Yet, even though these earthly phenomena are commonly considered terrifying, he was safe—and the “still small voice” that followed brought him peace and assurance. Elijah was not only protected from danger, but was also empowered to resume his prophetic work. He returned to Damascus to anoint two kings and the prophet who was to succeed him. 

Despite their alarming proximity to the fire, my cabin and neighborhood were safe.

We too can listen for the voice of calm, as I found during the 2016 wildfires in the Great Smoky Mountains. One night I was driving home through perilously high winds. Soon I encountered a wall of fire across the valley. As I did a quick U-turn, my heart was racing. But I heard in my mind the “still small voice” saying, “Nothing shall by any means hurt you” (Luke 10:19). This was Jesus’ promise to the seventy disciples he sent out to spread the gospel, and I felt the power of divine Love in that quiet message.  

As I drove toward a town out of harm’s way, precious friends from church called to offer me shelter. But since it was quite late, I decided to look for a motel. I was given the last available room in a motel full of firefighters who had come to help. My heart filled with gratitude for them and for a quiet place to rest and pray. 

During the night and the next four days of evacuation, I was greatly comforted by the assertion from Science and Health that “divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need” (p. 494), and by another verse from Luke: “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (12:32). These thoughts became my prayer. I began to feel God’s divine authority over what seemed like an overwhelming sense of evil at work. Soon I was totally at peace, without a vestige of fear about the situation. Within a day or so I learned that despite their alarming proximity to the fire, my cabin and neighborhood were safe. 

I heard God’s peaceful, healing message again when I took care of my son’s dog, Tupi, while my son was serving in Iraq. Per my son’s wishes, Tupi was being treated by a veterinarian for heartworms. One day, Tupi began hemorrhaging severely—a side effect of the treatment. I wrapped her in a big towel and drove her to the vet’s office. In the car, I opened my thought to feel the calm of God’s presence in the face of symptoms that seemed overpowering. 

As I began to remember what was true about God’s creation, I talked to Tupi about how much God loved her and how safe she was in His care. Because God is omnipotent and ever-present good, Tupi could never be subject to aggressive displays of material discord. I insisted vehemently that she was not made of matter but was instead completely spiritual. Remembering Mrs. Eddy’s helpful descriptions of God’s nature, I realized that Tupi forever expressed the love of Love, the joy of Soul, the strength of Principle, the vitality of Life, the intelligence of Mind, the loyalty of Truth, and the substance of Spirit. 

God lovingly governs every thought and action.

The vet lovingly took Tupi for the weekend and made her comfortable. He gave her no drugs—and virtually no chance of survival. But I continued affirming Tupi’s invulnerability, and steadfastly refused to admit that she could be beyond the saving power of God. This strong prayerful stand brought me a sense of fearless calm. I was overjoyed when she came home after the weekend and experienced no more harmful side effects from the heartworm treatment. She fully recovered and lived many more happy years.

God’s still, small voice was evident another time when my sister and I were on a road trip. One day, a car suddenly stopped in front of us. Even before being fully aware of the danger, I heard and followed the strong thought to veer sharply right, narrowly avoiding a collision. The divine directive led to our safety—and it replaced the fearful reaction that sometimes follows a close call with a deep sense of peace. Knowing for sure that God lovingly governs every thought and action truly quiets the “storm” of panic with tangible divine guidance and comfort. 

Mrs. Eddy offers this comforting promise: “Remember, thou canst be brought into no condition, be it ever so severe, where Love has not been before thee and where its tender lesson is not awaiting thee” (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, pp. 149–150). I am so very grateful for the quiet confidence that comes from trusting God’s power. When we listen for His voice and obey it, we find healing and the unspeakable peace of Paul’s promise: “The peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).

The power of sincerity
November 26, 2018

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