Have you ever prayed for something and then found that a surprise solution seemed so easy that you stopped short of complete faith in God? You almost wondered if the answer was right; but to reject it would have been foolish. You sighed with relief and thanked God for the quick and simple resolution of your problem.
Whatever our experience, there still remains the divine demand to trust God absolutely. Christ Jesus said to his followers, ''Have faith in God.'' n1 The Master's life overflowed with the results of his unwavering trust in his creator. There's no indication that Jesus compromised or took any shortcuts. If he had, he could not have completed his mission with the triumphant resurrection and ascension, with the proof of man's God-given dominion over all material conditions.
n1 Mark 11:22.
Jesus looked beyond ease in matter. He went beyond merely human considerations to the demonstration of spiritual reality and man's unity with God.
Years ago I had an experience that was pivotal in my growth as a Christian, because it showed me, in a small but impressive way, the necessity and practicality of placing absolute trust in God. I had three options to the solution of a problem. Two of them were tainted with dishonesty, and the third seemed incomplete, so I didn't choose any of them. I've been grateful ever since.
I was traveling on a turnpike with ninety-eight cents, enough to get off at the seventy-five-cent exit but not the one-dollar exit. It was late at night, and I missed the seventy-five-cent exit. I pulled off to the side, right next to the one-dollar exit, wondering what to do.
These were my choices: I could drive ahead, cross the median strip, and return to the less expensive exit. But the sign warned, ''Do not cross median strip.'' Or I could drop ninety-eight cents into the hand of the toll operator and take off before he had time to count all the pennies. But that violated the Golden Rule - to do unto others as I would have them do unto me. My third choice was that I could promise to pay the operator the two cents the next day. But I thought this would put him on the spot and not be a complete solution. Then I prayed for a God-given answer.
It came. And it was inspiring. I realized that God is infinite Spirit, and since Spirit is true substance and ever present, true substance is everywhere, including right there where I was. I reasoned that the provision I needed was always available and was unlimited. With that short prayer I felt totally confident that I would find the perfect solution, because I had trusted God, Spirit, completely.
Then the thought came to look under the back seat of my car. I did and found exactly two cents - no more, no less. I thanked God all the way home.
That was only the first of many similar experiences that demanded total faith in God, without compromise.
Christian Science teaches us that we can trust God completely because we can understand Him as divine Love, as perfect, ever-reliable Principle. He will not fail us. But we need to give Him our whole heart. We have to be alert to the temptation to stop short and rely on comfortable human solutions, which may contain traps that we have to get out of later. Christian Science is not here just to make human existence more comfortable, to make material circumstances less challenging. Rather, this Science lifts us to absolute reliance on God and the perfect spiritual reality of His creation, regardless of the circumstances facing us. There is always a right answer when we look to divine Spirit. ''Faith should enlarge its borders and strengthen its base by resting upon Spirit instead of matter,'' n2 writes Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.
n2 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 430.
My experience on the turnpike may seem small. But the underlying conviction of spiritual substance is still with me.
It is really God Himself who demands absolute faith in Him, and Christ Jesus showed us the glorious results of such trust. How wonderful it is to have his perfect example to lead us safely and securely through limiting human circumstances and choices! Even if the journey is difficult, the blessing is immeasurable because it comes from unlimited Spirit. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering Hebrews 10:23