Experience shows that times of deepest distress in both personal and international affairs can be preludes to greater happiness and freedom. In the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy n1 makes a reassuring statement that supports this conclusion: ''Each successive stage of experience unfolds new views of divine goodness and love.'' n2
n1Mrs. Eddy is the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.
n2Science and Health, p. 66
The successive stages of human life often involve periods of trial and testing, which sometimes seem endless. But through these trials we find that there was never a night without a morning follow-ing it.
Could there have been a gloomier time in human history than Christ Jesus' experience in Gethsemane and his subsequent crucifixion? Yet the events that followed the crucifixion-his resurrection and ascension-are incalculable in their blessings for mankind, showing us all the path to salvation.
Mrs. Eddy defines ''night'' as ''darkness; doubt; fear,'' n3 and ''morning'' as ''light; symbol of Truth; revelation and progress.'' n4 This ''morning'' may come at any time of day or night as we glimpse, through study of the Bible and through prayer, something of Truth, God, and the harmony of His creation. The morning sunlight has nothing to do with the appearing of this spiritual light.
n3Ibid., p. 592
n4Ibid., p. 591.
Sometimes in a night of loneliness and fear we are blinded to the fact of God's perpetual presence, His nearness. While we admit that eventually God will lead us, we don't see that right now God is leading us.
Even if we are challenged as never before, the spiritual fact is that the omnipresence of good-of God-still upholds us. Trusting this truth and coming to understand it, we'll experience joys we may not have known before. The Psalmist sang of God, ''Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.'' n5
If we're sincere in our faithfulness to one God, we'll recognize mental darkness as a prelude to inevitable morning. This is a time for standing steadfast in the knowledge of God's omnipresence and omnipotence until we perceive the light, and peace and rest come. It is a time for alertness and spiritual conviction, not apathy.
Certainly God never created a night of pain or terror. All that He made He declared good. And He made all that was actually made. That has never changed. The physical senses, in partnership with mortal thought, argue otherwise, and this is the darkness to be dissolved with the light of Truth.
Couldn't it be that night precedes the awakening of human thought in order to disabuse it of its belief in the somethingness of evil and its attendants-sin, disease, and mortality? Don't these clouded views of reality presage the coming of a new and progressive understanding of God's day? ''The night is far spent, '' Paul insisted, ''the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.'' n6
The ability to hold thought unswervingly to God's omnipotent power and omniaction is, obviously, purely mental and is bestowed by God, by divine Mind itself. This ability isn't dependent on human resources or power but transcends them. We can always trust this ever-present Mind-power to dissolve the shadows of night with the bright, healing, irresistible rays of morning.