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The rivers... shall not overwhelm you

From the Christian Science Sentinel - November 26, 2018


A small group of authors from the United States, Brazil, and France gathered for a unique meeting with some of our Sentinel editors. We discussed immigration, equity, honesty in character and in politics, identity, and more, with anticipation that effective, systematic prayer can reach those hearts hungering for stability, peace, and progress. When there is a great sense of being overwhelmed by an angry sea of circumstances, we can anchor thought in the timeless Principle of divine Love, which brings peace and healing. After the meeting, a theme from Isaiah 43 came to my thought: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you” (verse 2, New Revised Standard Version).

From the biblical era until today, many conflicts in tumultuous times have been brought to the point of transformation by yielding to God. This can transform thought into purposeful action, breaking through the mesmerism of fear. God’s power is not just bigger than the tumult; it is the only power there is. Christ Jesus proved that there is no human condition beyond God’s control. Faced with a crowd of those who hated him and wanted to do him harm, Jesus was not only able to walk through that crowd unharmed, but was also able to heal others (see Luke 4: 28–40). 

Jesus knew that God is the only power, and this not only gave him the calmness and conviction needed in the midst of tumult, but it also impelled him to take decisive actions. These actions came from a deep well of spiritual conviction. He knew our inseparable relation to God, divine Love, and this is something we can know, too.  

Humbly entering into the closet of thought makes it possible for us to experience the deep and rejuvenating power flowing from the all-gracious, all-merciful God. Here, ego is silenced, along with its accompanying arguments that we have so much to do, to study, to learn before any good or peace or progress can come about. Instead, we can take in what Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science, states about God as Mind and Love: “Mind demonstrates omnipresence and omnipotence, but Mind revolves on a spiritual axis, and its power is displayed and its presence felt in eternal stillness and immovable Love” (Retrospection and Introspection, p. 88). 

It is in our natural and continual communion with God that our peace, equanimity, and unshakable poise are revealed.

It is in this communion with God—our natural, inherent, continual communion with God—that our peace, equanimity, and unshakable poise are revealed. Further on in her book Retrospection and Introspection,  Eddy writes, “The best spiritual type of Christly method for uplifting human thought and imparting divine Truth, is stationary power, stillness, and strength; and when this spiritual ideal is made our own, it becomes the model for human action” (p. 93).

Be still…. Truth cannot be silenced, and Love is not overwhelmed. And when the human condition seems to be contorted and reactionary, there is “the kingdom of God” that Jesus says is within us (Luke 17:21), which remains untouched; it cannot be disturbed. Being governed by God from within, we will be in a position to help bring out the needed harmony. Even if our contribution toward a better, more harmonious world is modest, we are moving beyond the ego that feels we have to (or can) do it all on our own without God. Divine Love is working in and through us. And we find we have the courage, rest, intelligence, compassion, and fortitude that revive us and bring a spark and an impulse to the larger world’s progress toward improved human conditions.

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