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TeenConnect: UpFront

Texting with God

From the Christian Science Sentinel - January 6, 2017

From the teen column: UpFront - January 6, 2017

TeenConnect: Up Front

I don’t know about you, but I definitely have a small group of “go-to” friends. They’re the people I turn to when I’m struggling with something and can’t seem to figure out an answer. With a few text messages and silly emojis, they always seem to lift my spirits and offer just the insight that I need to feel better and move forward.

Last year, one of my go-to pals got really busy and could hardly respond to texts anymore. I have to admit that for a few months, I felt pretty lost. This friend was one who’d always understood me and gotten where I was coming from. What was I going to do without our text exchanges?

I could count on God during my hardest moments.

But there was an upside to this change in friendship that I can see now. Slowly but surely, it helped me realize that wherever we are, whatever problem we’re facing, whether we can reach our friends or not, we still have the answers, love, and guidance we need, because we can always talk with God.

Praying and asking God for help has always been a big part of my life, but it was often something I did after I talked with my friends. Somehow, a text from a friend seemed more tangible; the love I felt more palpable. Plus, I didn’t always feel like I was good enough at praying to truly hear God and get the answers I needed.

When my friend got busy, though, I felt a new desire to turn to God first. What would happen if I started thinking of God as my best friend and began “texting” Him when I had a problem?

Obviously, we can’t text God, but the Bible does offer this promise from God, which I thought about a lot: “He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble” (Psalms 91:15). I realized that in the same way I called upon my friends with a text message, I could mentally take my problems to God and He had given me a guarantee that He wasn’t too busy to answer. In fact, that verse reminded me that I could count on Him during my hardest moments. 

It was important for me to be clear that God wasn’t some person in the sky who was responding to my calls for help. God is infinite Mind and boundless Love. A passage from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy offered this helpful insight: “The ‘divine ear’ is not an auditory nerve. It is the all-hearing and all-knowing Mind, to whom each need of man is always known and by whom it will be supplied” (p. 7). God supplies our needs not by seeing a problem and then fixing it, but simply by being God: ever-present, all-powerful, all-encompassing Love. As we wake up to this fact, and trust it, healing happens.

God’s answers tell me that I am infinitely loved and worthy of love—that each of us is.

I began to see that talking with God was a very different model from talking with my friends. Sure, I love my friends and they give me awesome support. But when I talk with them, it’s often the problem/solution model: I have a problem; they offer a solution. With God, the answers I hear open my eyes to more of what God is and the nature of the universe God created—the spiritual, harmonious, peaceful universe, where we all actually live.

This doesn’t mean that God’s communications aren’t specific. They are! Now that I’m talking with God regularly, I’m amazed to see how precise His guidance is, and how it’s tailor-made to help me see how I can deal with whatever problem I’m facing. But there’s more to these answers than just a solution to a problem or a feeling of reassurance. Each one helps me see that there’s so much more to reality than I imagined. Each one shows me a little more clearly that evil isn’t as real as it seems to be and that God’s goodness is the true power in our lives. God’s answers also tell me that I am infinitely loved and worthy of love—that each of us is.

A year later, I can tell you that having God as my go-to friend has changed my life in profound ways. I’ve discovered that God’s messages are clear and distinct. I’ve learned that God’s love is something I can feel. Best of all, I’ve come to see that I don’t have to be a pro at prayer to talk with God. Turning to Him with an open heart is enough; we can count on Love to do the rest.

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