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God’s perfect governance

From the September 11, 2017 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

When we’re in need, we can turn to God and seek His help to deliver us from whatever challenge we may be facing. But when we do this, do we truly expect that the problem will be resolved? Or are we left wondering if we can really depend on prayer to bring results? Do we start to think that our prayers could be unheeded because they’re faulty or because we’re undeserving? Are there lapses in God’s goodness?

The beneficial effects of prayer are never in doubt when we have a genuine understanding of God. Christian Science, which is based on the teachings of Christ Jesus, explains the nature of God and our relationship to Him as His spiritual image and likeness. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science, wrote of winning her “way to absolute conclusions through divine revelation, reason, and demonstration” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 109).

“Absolute conclusions.” That means certainty. We can know that because God is all-good, omnipresent, all-powerful, all-intelligent, there is no possibility that something could interrupt or derail God’s ongoing governance. And because man is created in God’s image, spiritual and complete, he has no capacity to cause or experience harm.

This line of thinking keeps presenting itself to me. As I go about my day, thoughts of Deity’s perfect government of man pop up, often when I am driving. I finally put a pen and small notepad in the car so that I could jot down a word or phrase while stopped for traffic lights. Once I did this, my list grew over a period of several weeks.

I saw that if I could really accept the perfect realm of God, Spirit, as the truth of creation, then I could readily understand as unreality the belief that existence is based in matter. I never have to guess. I can rely on God and His perfect creation being forever intact, operating under divine law. This gives us unlimited freedom and the ability to overcome error of every kind.

As I continued with this line of thought, I saw how the divine government of man means that nothing counter to God can affect man in any way. There are no accidents, no chance occurrences, no missed opportunities, no victimization, no helplessness. There is simply no randomness in God’s complete universe of spiritual ideas.

I knew I had to take a stand in my thought. Either I know with conviction that God is All, and the only power and life of man, or I don’t. God spoke, and it—creation—was done! And it was very good (see Psalms 33:9 and Genesis 1:31). There’s no wiggle room there. God’s creation is complete and already present. We don’t have to wait for perfection in the kingdom of heaven—it’s where we already dwell. 

This realization had an enormous impact on me. I began watching every thought more carefully and was surprised to find how frequently my thinking had acquiesced into doubts and fears based on material sense.

I began to challenge myself to trust God at each opportunity. Seemingly ordinary events took on a different hue. This practice has proved invaluable in planning events, making decisions, and harmonizing every aspect of my life. I realized that when I trust God’s perfect government, there is nothing left to doubt.

Because God is all-good, omnipresent, all-powerful, all-intelligent, there is no possibility that something could interrupt or derail God’s ongoing governance.

How has this played out in a practical way for me? Recently, one of my grown daughters called in great distress. She’d had an incident that resulted in severe puncture wounds on her hand. She had been praying about it, but the situation got steadily worse to the point where she was frightened. She asked for my prayerful help. 

I shared this idea from Science and Health with her: “Accidents are unknown to God, or immortal Mind, and we must leave the mortal basis of belief and unite with the one Mind, in order to change the notion of chance to the proper sense of God’s unerring direction and thus bring out harmony.” It continues, “Under divine Providence there can be no accidents, since there is no room for imperfection in perfection” (p. 424).

This thought brought me some comfort, too. Although I did not mention it to her at the time, I first had to conquer my own fears. The symptoms she described were the same a friend had experienced some time ago. When the doctors saw him, they declared it too late to save his arm, and they had to amputate it. I was afraid of the same outcome for my daughter.

I knew the first thing I had to do was affirm for myself man’s wholly spiritual nature as the perfect image of God. The Bible declares God is Spirit, and all that Spirit creates is likewise spiritual. Denying any reality contrary to God’s spiritual creation was essential. I established that truth in my thought with great conviction, backed by the many healings I have witnessed. 

Then, I affirmed the impossibility of man ever being separated from his creator. A reflection or image cannot function on its own, but must always represent its original. Likewise, we derive all being from God. 

Affirming that God is Spirit, and man the precise image of Spirit, gave me the basis to see clearly the unreality of the situation presented by material sense testimony. I held to the true view of man as spiritual and perfect, always under God’s governance and protection. 

Within a day or two, the alarming symptoms disappeared. The punctures and corresponding immobility of her fingers diminished until she was able to resume her right activity. Both of us rejoiced in the proof of God’s presence and power and of man’s inseparability from his Maker.

I am grateful for every trial and opportunity to learn and demonstrate the all goodness of God and His perfect government. These lessons have helped me realize that no one is susceptible to random or harmful events. This idea helps in my prayers for the world. I feel less temptation to speculate or worry about the future. Keeping thought centered on the absolute facts of God’s divine law, with no element of uncertainty, brings a calm assurance that heals. God’s perfect governance of man is always effective, active, and available.

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