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Leaning on God stills life’s storms

From the April 9, 2018 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

As a storm broke, and thunder and lightning crashed, a boat bobbed on the water in a sheltered inlet, secure on its mooring, its rope sturdy and well-tied, its buoy anchored and fortified.

In my mind’s eye I could see that imaginary boat as a different kind of storm boiled around me, and as I felt my thoughts flung from bow to stern. I longed for a sheltered place and a secure mooring. At the time, I was reacting to what had seemed a major betrayal and deceitful behavior by people I’d admired and trusted. I was finding it difficult to express the divine Love I’d always relied on and considered as my anchor and refuge.

In the midst of the turmoil, I took a fall, and suddenly I was laid up, unable to walk. I knew it was time to set other commitments aside and resecure my mental moorings. 

Going forward, I began each day with prayer, with gratitude for daily mental and physical progress and with the expectation of a full restoration of both mobility and mental peace. I studied the Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. In my prayerful journey I didn’t focus on the people in conflict and troubling events, or on an attempt to influence or manipulate them, or on my injured ankle. Instead, I sought to better understand God, Love, the spiritual source of my own and others’ identity.

Integrity and trust, which I felt had been violated by others, are spiritual qualities that can’t be removed from my life.

I’d been taught in Christian Science that man and woman are expressions of God’s being and so reflect the spiritual nature of the divine Principle of being, Love. Love is not dependent on my behavior or on the behavior of others for existence, but is the Principle that I can turn to and rely on for support. Integrity and trust, which I felt had been violated by others, are spiritual qualities that cannot be removed from my life. I can always call on these qualities and express them because their source is God. 

My primary goal was to gain a better understanding of my relation to God, not to simply fulfill a wish to return to more peaceful times.

Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, offers important counsel in this passage from Science and Health: “Hold perpetually this thought,—that it is the spiritual idea, the Holy Ghost and Christ, which enables you to demonstrate, with scientific certainty, the rule of healing, based upon its divine Principle, Love, underlying, overlying, and encompassing all true being” (p. 496).

The healing of my ankle progressed daily as I understood that my support and mobility were spiritually intact, underpinned by the strength of God, divine Mind. This support could not be violated by accident or incident. I was soon on my feet again, able to walk and run. 

They cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. —Psalms 107:28, 29

The mental battle involving others eased, but troubling events carried on. While I continued to pray, I sometimes found my thought bouncing from the affirmation of God as one Principle, Love, to imaginary conversations with adversaries.

One day I constructed what I thought was the perfect argument to nail the core of the problem—“their problem.” Thus far, I had kept silent, but I thought that if given the opportunity, I would voice my view.

Yet, at that very moment a compelling thought emerged that overrode this urge. It was from Science and Health and, much like the other passage that was helping me, also began with the urging to “hold,” or stay steadfast: “Hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true, and you will bring these into your experience proportionably to their occupancy of your thoughts” (p. 261).

I recalled the story of Christ Jesus stilling the storm when his fearful disciples sought his help (see Mark 4:35–41). Even though the disciples feared for their lives, given the ferocity of the storm, Jesus responded calmly. He didn’t analyze the tempest’s direction and presumed duration. Instead, he stilled the storm. In doing so, he demonstrated that the tempest had no power over him and those with him. I saw that my moving back and forth from spiritual reasoning to human arguments was not a path to healing. Engaging with the fury was likely to unleash self-will, self-justification, and self-love (see Science and Health, p. 242). And this would simply keep the tumult stirring.

My imaginary arguments and conversations abated.

From then on, my imaginary arguments and conversations abated until they disappeared altogether. My priority centered on holding steadfastly and perpetually to the spiritual truth of man and woman governed by the power of divine Love. Spiritually steadfast thinking was reliable and could inform any decisions needed or words spoken. This also included the wisdom needed to protect and defend this healing in the future. 

Inspired thoughts from God were the tether, the anchor, and the safe haven I’d been seeking. Governed by divine Love, spiritual thinking withstands the buffeting winds of human drama. It protects and restores. Held to, it can also still the storm.

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