How can I stay safe?
Q: Sometimes I feel scared when I’m walking alone, or even just getting into my car in a dark parking lot. How can I feel like God is protecting me?
A: It was exam time my sophomore year of college, and I was anxious to get to the library. I lived a mile off campus, so I decided to hitch a ride. This was at a time when hitchhiking was much more common than it is today in my country, but I’d never hitched a ride before, and I have to admit I was a little scared. Deep down, I intuitively felt my choice to do so that day wasn’t wise, but I was influenced by freewheeling college life and what I saw other college kids doing.
It might sound funny, but as I stood by the side of the road with my thumb out, I prayed. I had grown up attending Christian Science Sunday School, but it was only now, in college, that I’d really started to practice Christian Science more consistently and make it my own. I’d even had some significant healings, so it was becoming more and more natural to turn to God no matter the situation.
What came to me as I prayed was a Bible verse: “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him” (John 6:44). To me this meant that since God is Love, He is always caring for and protecting us wherever we are. God is also communicating with each of His children. So we, as the image and likeness of God, good, respond only to good and are innocent—incapable of harming anyone.
As the man reached for me, I found myself calmly thanking him for the ride, getting out of the car, and walking out of the alley. He let me go.
Soon, a man picked me up. He looked like a student, so I didn’t suspect anything. But as we approached campus, he took a turn into an alley. At first I thought it was a shortcut, but when I saw that it was a dead end, I quickly realized that he had ill intentions. There was no one around to help. But the curious thing was, I wasn’t afraid. My prayers had assured me that God was always with me, whatever the circumstances. I had experienced God’s presence during other times in my life, and this wasn’t any different. I knew God’s presence and power were palpable.
Looking back, I can see that if I really had been listening to God, I would have made a different choice to begin with that day. But in spite of that, God was still there for me, with me. And that’s the beautiful thing: God is always speaking to us, even if we take a wrong turn.
As the man reached for me, I found myself calmly thanking him for the ride, getting out of the car, and walking out of the alley. He let me go. As he passed by a moment or two later in his car, he apologized and went on his way. I was so grateful for this demonstration of God’s protection for us both. Not only did it keep me safe but it also kept him from doing something he would surely regret.
I’ve found that God’s guidance has always kept me safe, often by helping me make better choices from the outset, especially when considering options that could be risky.
While it’s important to be wise, vigilant, and observant of our surroundings, it’s also important to remember that divine Love is always present and governing all of us. We don’t need to live in fear, since we can turn to God at all times. God’s direction can not only prevent situations like the one I found myself in but also gives us a way out if we feel we’re in danger.
Because of this experience and others, I’ve grown more and more willing to listen to God. I’ve found that His guidance has always kept me safe, often by helping me make better choices from the outset, especially when considering options that could be risky. Whether that protection has come as an intuition, an inner voice, or specific direction, I’ve known it’s God speaking to me, because of the peace that has come with it.
Really listening means giving up our own sense of things and trusting that God’s direction is better than anything we could plan or want. It’s wonderful to know that we can never be separated from God or His wisdom, no matter what.