IS there really an ``outside'' to God's love? Can we somehow work our way outside His care? Outside His tender guidance? Outside His generous provision? From the standpoint of physical appearances we would have to answer ``yes.'' It often appears that we have fallen completely outside the realm of God's love. The frequency of accident, lack, disease, and so forth, makes a strong case for this possibility.
Take, for example, the Biblical instance of a woman and her young son who had been sent away by the husband and father with only a little food and water.1 The woman had no means to support herself, and when the water was gone she resolved that her child would die. They clearly appeared to be cut off from God's love.
Yet the woman heard an angel voice--a divine message, or holy thought-- calling to her and saying,``Fear not.'' The Bible then tells us that ``God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water.'' The effect of this awakening was that the woman and her son lived and prospered.
One might conclude that this is an isolated case of God's intervening and pulling two people back into the realm of His love. But certain aspects of the experience may suggest something different and also point to what we can do when we feel distant from God's love.
The message from God to the woman was a call to trust Him. She was told not to fear. The command ``Fear not'' could also be seen as a directive to turn away from the physical appearance of things and to look to God for help.
This change of heart led to a second instructive aspect of the woman's experience. The needed supply--a well of water--was seen as already at hand. The well did not suddenly come flying down to earth from heaven. Rather, the woman's eyes were opened! Her fearful, limited view of things had blinded her to the good at hand. But now, with more trust and less fear, she saw that she was not really outside God's love.
The woman's experience coincides with two points that Christ Jesus made on various occasions--the need to be unafraid and to realize that the kingdom of God is at hand.
Fear tries to convince us that we are outside His kingdom. But as we faithfully turn to Him in prayer and learn to walk obediently with Him, we experience less fear. We come to see that His love is indeed at hand. We find that it is not for a future time or place and not just for individuals with certain credentials.
The spiritual reality is that God's love is here now. The Father could not possibly withhold love from His children or place some of them outside His care.
Man's God-given consciousness is always receptive to the presence of God's love. When we feel cut off from our Father, it is time to confront the fears and abandon the sins that shut our eyes to His presence. We can throw out the mistaken conviction that God's support has been interrupted or terminated.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science and founder of this newspaper, writes, ``Let us rid ourselves of the belief that man is separated from God, and obey only the divine Principle, Life and Love.''2
As we strive to accept and obey God's government--and it's certainly our true nature to do this--we welcome the fact that there is no outside to His love. Daily we can affirm the omnipresence of God's blessings and resist the aggressive temptations of doubt and fear. Steadily we'll discover that we never have left, and never can leave, His sustaining presence.
1See Genesis 21:9-20. 2Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 91. You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38,39