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Our refuge

MANY people feel that mankind is faced with more and greater hazards than ever before. Some believe that turning to God in times of danger has lost much of its meaning and promise. But in relation to God's care for man nothing has really changed since Christ Jesus assured his disciples, ``The very hairs of your head are all numbered,''1 or since Isaiah prayed: ``O Lord, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.... Thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat....''2

Isn't this refuge available even in the face of terrorist threats and fear of nuclear fallout? And couldn't more prayer for divine wisdom and perception help give us the foresight to avert tragedy? The answer depends very much on our concept of God, of man, and of man's environment. If we think of ourselves as vulnerable mortals, living in a realm totally apart from divine help, made up of fragile matter that can be easily destroyed or contaminated, then the outlook may seem rather bleak.

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But if we begin to think of God and man as the Bible describes them, as infinite Spirit and man in its own image, a new viewpoint opens up. We see that man is created and maintained as God's spiritual likeness. We begin to realize that we're not truly helpless and that we can call upon the supreme power of Spirit for protection. Through prayer and purification of thought the true understanding of God and man can be progressively demonstrated as able to disarm destructiveness and hostility.

Instead of begging God to intervene and rescue us because of our apparent extremity, we might remind ourselves of what will bring us through unfailingly: an unswerving acknowledgment of the nearness and power of God right where we are--a power that continues to maintain what He has created. Such prayer changes our thought so that we see we're not truly helpless. It enables us to see how to translate this new perception into what to think and do that will best help us and everyone else concerned.

Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, asks: ``Is there no divine permission to conquer discord of every kind with harmony, with Truth and Love?'' She continues, ``We should remember that Life is God, and that God is omnipotent.''3

Divine permission to conquer discord is always forthcoming, and it provides an impenetrable refuge, whatever the material conditions may seem to be. This refuge is a state of spiritual consciousness that is possible for each of us to cultivate through prayer and through pure, Christly thinking and living. In the depths of prayer we need to realize that goodness does overcome evil because God is good and omnipotent; that the divine law of health banishes sickness. We might well pray for the purity of thought that's natural to us and that overcomes pollution, and for the continuing ability to maintain this level of thinking and to experience its healing, protecting effect.

Our aim in prayer should be to commune more and more closely with God, so that human thought is lifted to discern the unbroken harmony of spiritual being. Such prayer doesn't retreat from human situations but resolves them.

Taking refuge in the spiritual consciousness imparted by the one Mind, by perfect Love, does make us safe and keep us safe.

1Matthew 10:30. 2Isaiah 25:1, 4. 3Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 394. DAILY BIBLE VERSE God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble . . . . Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. Psalms 46: 1,10

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