Stilling the storm
I live in a subtropical part of the United States that is prone to hurricanes and tornadoes. One morning I felt impelled to deeply ponder and study this passage from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy: “There is no vapid fury of mortal mind—expressed in earthquake, wind, wave, lightning, fire, bestial ferocity—and this so-called mind is self-destroyed” (p. 293).
Soon I went into the kitchen and saw out the window that the sky had turned ominously black. Suddenly, what looked like a tornado touched down, heading directly toward the house. I declared a very firm “No,” and I watched the tornado just vanish. The sun came out as if nothing had happened. The neighborhood experienced only one downed tree, and everyone was safe. A family member who was working at a local cable television company heard of a tornado landing in our area and came rushing to the house to be sure that I was OK.
I had no prior knowledge of a tornado warning. I was just enjoying a morning of prayer and study. This daily communion with God, the one Mind, lifted my thought spiritually so that I could be better prepared to hear the spiritual intuitions, or angel messages, in order to prayerfully address the situation.
The passage I’d been studying prompted me to know with such conviction that I didn’t have to accept the presence of a potentially destructive storm because its source did not stem from a loving Father-Mother God.
Mankind is struggling with overwhelming evidence of homes and lives affected by the turmoil of violent weather, but this experience gave me a glimpse that we are not destined to be victims of so-called “Mother Nature,” and that there are spiritual solutions that can be put into practice. Jesus proved this when, while he was sleeping on a ship during a severe storm, the disciples fearfully awoke him. He asked them why they were so fearful, and he instantly stilled the storm (see Matthew 8:23–27).
Following the example of Christ Jesus, we, too, can begin to understand the mental nature of weather and storms. Consider what Mrs. Eddy says in one of her writings, “… the atmosphere of the human mind, when cleansed of self and permeated with divine Love, will reflect this purified subjective state in clearer skies, less thunderbolts, tornadoes, and extremes of heat and cold; …” (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 265).
When our thought is purified and filled with divine Love, this can contribute to preventing troubling weather conditions. We find this relevant assurance in the last verse of the 23rd Psalm, as given in Science and Health: “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house [the consciousness] of [LOVE] for ever” (p. 578).
As we begin to understand that God’s creation is wholly spiritual, we can approach the prediction of a storm from a purely metaphysical basis. We can reason that in God’s entirely spiritual creation, there is no matter to have a mind or intelligence of its own or to claim to be temperamental Mother Nature or to have adverse atmospheric or environmental conditions. We can know that these are human beliefs merely parading as laws. In reality, God is the only lawmaker, and He is good. God is incapable of creating destructive forces.
Mrs. Eddy writes in Unity of Good: “… God is Truth, and the forces of Truth are moral and spiritual, not physical. They are not the merciless forces of matter” (p. 35).
Divine Love, God, is always loving and nurturing His children, and through the understanding of this truth we find that He is always protecting and leading us, through Christ. Love is not punishing its creation. God, the supreme and only lawmaker, has created man and the universe to be completely governed by His Word or law. God’s laws are only good. In reality, there can only be spiritual laws of nature that are derived from God and His goodness.
The first chapter of Genesis tells us that “God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good” (verse 31). Our mandate is to let these spiritual truths fill our thought and to work to understand them. In that way, we can expect to see evidence of them in our lives.
Through prayer, we are able to feel the assurance of God’s loving protection abiding with us all.
As we look out from a Christianly scientific basis, destructive storms can be viewed as hypnotic illusions of the material senses—in a way, mirages stirred into view by hatred, sin, and other beliefs contrary to God, Love. Obviously, they can seem very real, but in actuality, they are not real substance—for if they were, Jesus could not have stilled whole storms, and I couldn’t have seen the dissolving of the tornado in my experience. The stilling of a storm isn’t the effect of human will or material mental strength; it is the natural effect of a deep understanding of God and wholehearted conviction of His all-power.
I’ve remained grateful for how the outcome of this experience left me with a greater trust that the Christ, the divine idea of God, comes to our rescue—the divine embracing us and meeting the human need.
As we gain deeper insights into the reality of God’s law of love, we become more discerning and are better able to contribute to genuine peace, calm, and prevention of stormy situations in a sometimes turbulent human scene. Mrs. Eddy writes, “Acquaintance with the Science of being enables us to commune more largely with the divine Mind, to foresee and foretell events which concern the universal welfare, to be divinely inspired,—yea, to reach the range of fetterless Mind” (Science and Health, p. 84).
Gaining these spiritual insights must also include the ability to solve problems through healing. Mrs. Eddy also says, “Let Christian Science, instead of corporeal sense, support your understanding of being, and this understanding will supplant error with Truth, replace mortality with immortality, and silence discord with harmony” (Science and Health, p. 495).
On an on-going basis, as we put into practice what Jesus teaches in his Sermon on the Mount (see Matthew, chaps. 5—7); behold our fellow man as God-created, good and pure; and as we return blessing for cursing and destroy hate with love, we become part of the solution. We’re contributing to the establishment of a healthier environment.
So if meteorologists predict that a potentially dangerous storm is headed our way, it’s vital that we do more than board up windows. We should continue to purify our thought by communing with God, learning more of His true nature as Love, identifying ourselves as His image and likeness, and letting Godlike thoughts fill our consciousness.
We need not feel helpless, for through prayer, we are able to feel the assurance of God’s loving protection abiding with us all. However, we must be diligent in the prayerful work, not casual or superficial. We can negate, through the understanding of the one divine Mind, the suggestions of fear coming from different sources. And we can know that, in reality, Love is in control, and we are not governed by material laws of nature and not under the will of those who may want a drama to watch or report, or may want destruction to take place. The human laws of physics can be disarmed by knowing that they are rendered null and void by the laws of Spirit; and we can awake from the hypnotism of disruptive mental currents, fueled by human will—by knowing that God is the only Mind.
While we may seem to experience trials and tribulations along the way, and feel that our demonstrations are still very modest, if we are persistently praying, we are learning, growing, and proving the power and nature of God step by step. By leaning on God and trusting Him, we continue to gain in our understanding of His loving power, and we are alert and better able to discern what is metaphysically needed—to pray about and address weather conditions, and, ultimately, still the storm. I love Jesus’ words when he says, “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). We can follow his example.