Love’s realm, reign, and provision
One night, I lay listening to footsteps and gunshots. Without any competing sounds, the snapping noises were intense and frightening. Helicopters followed, firing projectiles into the neighboring streets. The impact jolted the house where I was staying and severely shook the windows above my head.
I had arrived in a country where conflict was escalating. Governments were advising their residents to avoid travel to this location as incidents were grave and frequent. However, my husband had scheduled several months of research in this area. Being there was necessary to the progress of his studies, and we had decided to proceed with the trip together.
In the initial weeks of our stay, violence felt close and persistent. Most days we walked across the city to a university, and one morning we saw where a large, suburban restaurant had been reduced to a footprint of rubble overnight.
I was fearful. But I knew I could pray, and step by step my prayer dispelled the fear and magnified God’s presence. During our stay, I also met several times with another Christian Scientist who lived in the area, and we held church services together. He was also praying wholeheartedly to see peace. Through prayer, I gained a more certain sense that God supports our progress and provides for us with great love, even in the midst of frightening circumstances.
Step by step my prayer dispelled the fear and magnified God’s presence.
Two key aspects of prayer came to light for me during this time. The first was declared by Christ Jesus, when he said, “Your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him” (Matthew 6:8, NKJV). Jesus assured us that God is meeting our needs, even before we pray about them. This thought helped me see that not only would my husband and I be protected, but also that God was caring for us in ways we might not even know about.
The second was something I’ve learned from my study of Christian Science. Prayer is not an attempt to persuade or plead with God to give us what we think we need. Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy explains: “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). My prayers didn’t need to be requests to God, but rather acknowledgments of divine wisdom meeting the human need.
Prayer illumines the reality that we are right now in God’s province, where divine Love is in control. And as divine Love’s children, we are embosomed in our Father-Mother God. As we mentally imbibe and hold to such truths, we can see past any sense of a vulnerable human condition. We see more of the all-good that is intact and of the spiritual fact that we are intelligently and dearly cared for.
This care became palpable on the research trip. After a few weeks, we needed to move from the city to a rural region for my husband to seek relevant data and information. Finding accommodation seemed difficult as we needed a temporary home for only a few months. When our initial steps proved fruitless, I continued in prayer to better see that God always meets our needs. A short time later, my husband found a notice board advertising rooms for rent. An apartment was available for the exact dates we needed one, except for our last day. We discovered that it sat above a forest with a deep view out to sea, and was modern, spacious, and reasonably priced. We became tenants and loved this home.
We are intelligently and dearly cared for.
Another need was met that hadn’t even occurred to us. The landlord had listed his car as part of the rental package at no extra cost. Initially we saw the car as a liability and only of minimal benefit. However, we accepted the offer and soon discovered that my husband frequently needed to drive to remote or hard-to-reach places. Having the use of a car became critical to the success of his project. Other needs were met in ways we hadn’t expected, and the last night of our trip was also gracefully cared for. New friends invited us to stay with them, and the next day they drove us to the airport in a distant city.
My husband and I were protected and provided for throughout our stay in this country. Moreover, by the end of our time there, the violence had diminished significantly, and today, almost twenty years later, there continues to be progress in this region.
This experience has assured me that Love’s realm is our home, Love’s reign is the only true power, and Love’s provision is all-inclusive and complete.