Growing up near the ocean in a region where hurricanes occur, I have prepared for and endured these torrential storms numerous times. One hurricane experience, however, was especially memorable to me because through prayerful reliance on God as the only presence and power, a friend and I were divinely protected and guided during the storm. The experience proved that, as the Bible relates, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalms 46:1).
Studying the Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy, has helped me understand the practicality of prayer. These two books serve as indispensable guides to successfully maneuver through everyday challenges. They point out that each of us has an essential and eternal relationship to God. They also draw attention to God’s healing power, protection, and care for His creation.
During the hurricane, tempestuous winds impelled my friend and me to wonder whether or not the house could sustain such an intense storm without damage. We had taken all precautionary steps in boarding up windows and doors, but to reassure ourselves that the house was not being affected by the hurricane, we lingered outside for a few minutes.
Suddenly, a gust of wind caused an oversized door to slam shut, leaving us outside the house. Inside, a very large piece of lumber, which we had used to keep the rugged door closed against strong winds, fell and remained wedged against it. Other possible entrances had been tightly secured, and all of our tools were inside the house. Despite our efforts to open it, the door remained closed. Moreover, the nearest neighbor lived over a mile away, and the winds were becoming so boisterous that we thought it would be difficult, as well as dangerous, to travel along the long dirt road.
We forever abide in the safety of infinite, divine Mind, which includes only intelligent ideas that we reflect.
Since we saw no way to get back into the house and no suitable shelter from the storm, the situation seemed hopeless. So I turned wholeheartedly to God, with whom “all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26). That is, I quietly prayed and silently affirmed our inseparability from God, divine Mind. The Bible illuminates that we, individually, as well as collectively, are at one with this infinite Mind. Shedding light on the infinite wholeness of God’s creation, Mary Baker Eddy wrote, “As a drop of water is one with the ocean, a ray of light one with the sun, even so God and man, Father and son, are one in being” (Science and Health, p. 361). And Scripture tells us, “For in him we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:28).
Prayer, centered on our inseparable relationship to God, reveals that we forever abide in the safety of infinite, divine Mind, which includes only intelligent ideas that we reflect. In the harmony of this Mind, there is no fear, turmoil, or confusion to impede our thoughts and our ability to receive these divine ideas. Mind’s ideas flow continuously to us as God’s pure expression.
Regardless of the chaotic winds churning around us, I recalled this promise from the book of Isaiah: “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness” (41:10). This spiritual truth comforted me, and I was overcome with a sense of peace that did not stem from human willpower or happenstance, but from trust in God, omnipresent and omnipotent Mind.
The actions we took next happened very rapidly. My friend pushed vigorously against the huge door until the wedged piece of lumber that was behind it moved, and the door opened a little near the top. Then, despite the robust winds, we both maintained balance while I climbed onto his back and through the small opening to remove the lumber. As a result, we were able to get safely inside.
During the remainder of the hurricane, I was thankful, joyful, and calm because this experience showed me that omnipresent God protects and guides us throughout any situation. After the hurricane was over, we determined that there was no damage to the house, further proof of God’s protection.
Relying on omnipotent and omnipresent God always has its rewards, as we learn in the Bible. “He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still” the psalms assure us (Psalms 107:29). Such reliance quiets fear and enables us to think and act clearly and decisively when challenges confront us. And we know we abide safely in God’s care.