It is a journalistic axiom that a heat wave -- like any weather extreme -- is news. So the exceptional heat in the American south and southwest this summer has been given top treatment on TV and in the press.
There is one thing we all should ask ourselves: How do we respond to reports about heat waves -- or to the heat itself, if we are in it. Are we being scared by the forecasts and anticipating day after day of oppressive weather? Or are we mentally "keeping our cool" through prayer?
The Biblical Israelites lived in a region where temperatures soar in the summer. Yet with utmost conviction the writer of Psalm 121 could say: "The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. . . .The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore." n1
n1 Psalms 121:5, 6, 8;
Some years ago I was visiting East Africa and staying with relatives who lived on a plateau 6,000 feet above sea level, not far from the equator. Because of the altitude and the dry air, the heat of the day was not uncomfortable, and the nights were very cool. But I didn't realize how intense the sun was. My arms and legs became severely burned and swollen.
As I prayed for healing I recalled the words of Psalm 121: "The sun shall not smite thee by day . . ."
Then I thought of the definition of this Biblical term "sun" by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science: "The symbol of Soul governing man, -- of Truth, Life, and Love." n2
n2 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,m p. 595;
This calmed my fear. Soul, Truth, Spirit, and Love are synonyms for God. Here was the reassurance that Spirit, not matter, was governing me.Could God's government include danger? Could exposure to it result in suffering?
As I consciously placed myself under God's protection, knowing my true identity as His idea, the promise of the psalm was fulfilled and I was rapidly healed.
Christ Jesus, who was able to still tempests on the Sea of Galilee, must surely have proved dominion over all phases of the weather. And today, an understanding of the facts of God's universe and of His all-power, and conscious living under them, enable us to prove our own dominion over climatic conditions.
Once we acknowledge God to be All and His universe to be infinitely good, we can begin to prove that the threats of weather to cause suffering have no foundation in God and therefore have no real power to disturb or afflict.
"We should relieve our minds from the depressing thought that we have transgressed a material law and must of necessity pay the penalty," says Mrs. Eddy. "Let us reassure ourselves with the law of Love. God never punishes man for doing right, for honest labor, or for deeds of kindness, though they expose him to fatigue, cold, heat, contagion. If man seems to incur the penalty through matter, this is but a belief of mortal mind, not an enactment of wisdom, and man has only to enter his protest against this belief in order to annul it." n3
n3 ibid.,m p. 384.
On the basis of the Bible promises and the teachings of Christ Jesus we can begin to understand our immunity from suffering caused by temperature extremes. We can rest in the assurance that God, the only Mind of the universe, governs man, and that the laws and forces of this divine Mind are completely good. DAILY BIBLE VERSE The Lord God is a sun and shield. Psalms 84:11