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God’s mothering love: An ever-present help

From the January 14, 2019 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

I’ve often felt comforted and helped by these words from Psalm 46: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (verse 1). To me, the idea of “refuge” includes the mothering aspect of God that Mary Baker Eddy perceived through her discovery of Christian Science. I have experienced God’s mothering many times. 

The psalm goes on to say, “Therefore will not we fear” (verse 2). Even in times when I am afraid, I mentally insist that God is in control, and that no matter how I feel emotionally, I know my divine Father-Mother (and yours) is with me, a loving guide and protector.

This conviction was tested last spring, in the middle of April. My longtime friend and housemate had died a few days before. She had always helped me with my taxes, but with the suddenness of her passing, I hadn’t even thought about them. The realization that the forms were due sent me into feverish efforts to fill them out. But my panicked efforts were of no avail. I tried and tried to complete the forms but couldn’t figure out how to find the details of my taxes, which my friend usually supplied.

I was desperately praying, and dealing with grief, confusion, and fear all at the same time. That’s when those words of the Psalmist really helped me. I recalled that God’s mothering love had come to my rescue many times before, and I knew I could trust it now. The Bible documents God’s guiding hand in situations that were a lot more desperate than mine (although it’s easier for me to say that after the fact than it would have been on that particular day!).

When I am afraid, I mentally insist that God is in control, no matter how I feel emotionally.

Mrs. Eddy’s writings bring out very clearly that the spiritual laws Christ Jesus trusted during his ministry—and literally with his life—are here for us, too. She also presents facets of God, such as Mother, that she uncovered through her study of the Bible, and of Jesus’ ministry specifically. Another facet is Mind, the source of all intelligence and wisdom. 

As children of God, each of us is the idea, or reflection, of Mind, so we are able to express this intelligence, wisdom, and so forth. I was really counting on this spiritual fact, because at that point there was no apparent answer to my problem. I never thought of applying for an extension of the deadline. Quite honestly, I was so fearful that my hands were trembling and I was unable to think coherently.

But the promise of God’s help was something I could cling to, and I did! In one of her articles included in The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, Mrs. Eddy writes: “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. Therefore despair not nor murmur, for that which seeketh to save, to heal, and to deliver, will guide thee, if thou seekest this guidance” (pp. 149–150).

What a wonderful statement of God’s mothering love for each of us.

My thoughts quieted down. A clear plan came, and it was simple: Find a tax preparer whose office you can locate, and go there. I realize this sounds like what anyone would have done, but I was so stressed that I couldn’t think of an answer until I had prayed with that thought from Mrs. Eddy’s article. And so I followed those instructions.

Given my anxiety over the deadline, I was pleasantly surprised at how calm people were at the tax preparer’s office. I was shown into the office of a man who cheerfully offered to help me. He told me exactly what documentation I needed, and since he had another appointment scheduled for that time, I left to get this information. When I returned, he went through my form and told me how to get other needed details, which I got by using my cellphone while he was working on the rest.

Throughout this time, I felt cared for, not just by this wonderful man but also by a calm that could only have been the presence of the Christ—the spiritual understanding of God exemplified by Christ Jesus. People in the town hall gave me the information I needed cheerily and quickly, and everything came together so smoothly that within a couple of hours it was all done.

I thanked the tax preparer profusely, and he graciously said, “As I worked with you, it was as though I was helping my own mother.” I smiled inwardly, knowing that the intelligence of the divine Mother-love had been caring for both of us.

This is only one of many healing experiences I’ve had, including physical healings of painful conditions I was told I would have to live with, and harmonious resolutions of family and work situations that were very challenging.

Supporting all this good is the reality that God is not only our loving Father-Mother, but is also divine Principle. So whatever challenge we may face, God is truly an ever-present help. 

Christ Jesus’ ministry surely confirms this spiritual fact. He performed many seemingly miraculous feats. For example, he fed five thousand people with only a few loaves and fish; he walked on the water to his disciples when they were struggling on a stormy sea; he healed countless people suffering from many different ailments.

Through her constant prayer and study of the Bible, Mrs. Eddy perceived that there was more to these experiences than just miracles for one special time or person. She recognized that there was a Science supporting them, and this is the teaching she presents in the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.

Studying this book along with the Bible provides everyday guidance in one’s affairs, and it is also a powerful help when we face unexpected challenges, illness, or trouble at work or in our families. Instead of feeling pushed and shoved by emotions, especially fear, we begin to see that God really is governing. 

The spiritual laws Christ Jesus trusted during his ministry are here for us, too.

Recently I had an experience that underlined this point. I needed to find some keys to display cases in a museum where I volunteer. The only person who knew where they would be was not available. I looked in all the obvious, and some not-so-obvious, places and couldn’t find them. I dreaded the thought of our needing to break the locks, and the possible damage to the cases that might result. The museum was already financially challenged, and that loss would only make matters worse.

As I prayed, I found myself thinking of God’s mothering love, which was so much a part of my prayers in relation to this museum for children. The thought came that I should stop looking for the keys and resist any temptation to look for them. It wasn’t easy to obey, but I did. These lines from a hymn by M. L. Baum came to thought:

Like as a mother, God comforteth His children; 
   Comfort is calm, that bids all tumult cease; 
Comfort is hope and courage for endeavor, 
   Comfort is love, whose home abides in peace.
(Christian Science Hymnal, No. 174, © CSBD) 

A great feeling of peace came over me. Then with gentle clarity, the thought came to look in another place, which was in a completely different part of the museum. All the keys were there. Later, as I locked up for the night, I silently thought, “Thank you, Mother!”

It is God’s mothering love we feel when divine inspiration leads to healing in similar or even more challenging situations. In addition to the many inspiring accounts in the Bible, this magazine has published experiences from people around the world who have faced more severe conditions than the ones I’ve described, and they also have been helped. You can receive this blessing, too.

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