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Feeling secure

Rainy days at summer camp brought a warm, cozy feeling. I remember how we'd stay in our cabin for hours, with the heavy shutters closed tightly and kerosene lanterns brightening the darkness. We'd play all kinds of games while the rain pattered noisily on the roof. With foul weather shut out, and friends and fun shut in, the place felt utterly secure.

Can we feel completely secure every day? Yes! But not by looking to a material refuge for our safety. A deep and permanent sense of security comes from knowing God, divine Spirit, and discerning our own true being as Godlike, safe in Him.

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The Bible reveals that God is omnipotent good; that He is infinite and therefore ever present. The Scriptures also teach that man is the likeness of Spirit, created in His image. While it seems that we're physical mortals, subject to the uncertainties of a material universe, this is not the ultimate truth of our being. Even now, despite appearances, our actual identity is spiritual, and we dwell securely in the presence of divine Spirit.

Christ Jesus taught, ''God is a Spirit.'' n1 And referring to God, Paul proclaims in Acts, ''In him we live, and move, and have our being; . . . For we are also his offspring.'' n2

n1 John 4:24.

n2 Acts 17:28.

It's through silent, heartfelt prayer, through humble, expectant listening for God's thoughts, His pure ideas, that we begin to discern our spiritual selfhood and the security of dwelling in Spirit.

Isn't this receptivity to divine direction the way Noah, in the Genesis story , established his safety? Here was a man who loved God and lived righteously. It was natural, then, for him to hear God's voice and respond obediently when the command came to build an ark as protection from the great flood. He was able to save not only himself and his family but a variety of creatures as well.

The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, offers a spiritual meaning of the term ''ark.'' Part of her definition in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures is ''safety; . . . the understanding of Spirit , destroying belief in matter.

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''God and man coexistent and eternal . . . .'' n3

n3 Science and Health, p. 581.

Aren't there times when we could use this kind of ark? It may not be the rain we need to keep out, but perhaps anger, violence, or destructiveness. Through our understanding that we actually dwell in God, we can find practical solutions to whatever security problems we face.

I found this true in my own life. One night several years ago I was walking home from a church service with a friend on a busy city street. As we entered the lobby of my building, a young man quietly slid in behind us. When I began to unlock the inner door, he ordered, ''Don't be afraid, ladies. Just give me your money, and no one will get hurt.''

I felt at the moment that my ''ark'' had already been built and that I, my friend, and this fellow were all safe within it. The truth of man's spiritual, Christlike nature was fresh in my thought from the church meeting we had just attended. When I turned to look at the man, I realized that his real identity wasn't that of a criminal but rather the precious child of God.

Quite spontaneously I smiled and said, ''You don't want to hurt us.'' These words struck a responsive chord. The young man dropped his hand, which I hadn't noticed before, but which was poised as if holding a concealed weapon. He then turned and left.

My friend and I continued into the building, thanking God for His protecting power. Later, I realized how perfectly Spirit, the one divine Mind, had impelled me to say exactly the right thing for this particular situation. And I awoke to the fact that God, the omniscient, could provide an appropriate response to any untoward circumstance.

What a comfort it is to know that our security comes from God. As children of Spirit, we can never be outside His protective ever-presence. Through prayer and through living in harmony with Jesus' teachings, we can prove this for ourselves. Wherever we are and whatever the situation, our creator is there to govern and guide. DAILY BIBLE VERSE I will say of the Lord, He is my refugee and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust, Psalms 91:2

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