IF life has seemed empty to us, even not worth living, there's good cause for hope. A feeling of well-being and a reason for living are not beyond our grasp. Christ Jesus pointed the way when he said, ``Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.''1 This kingdom is not far off. Rather, it's the consciousness of God's presence, and we can come to discern this presence now and experience the blessings that flow from divine Love. But the way to this realization is through spiritual rebirth, not escapism or self-destruction. Rebirth begins with a change of thought. Prayer is the natural place to begin this work, for who is better able to help us than our Maker, with whom we commune in prayer? The Bible says: ``Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice?... Hear; for I will speak of excellent things.''2 We can hear and be obedient to the leading of divine wisdom, which delivers us from the false sense that life is a dead end.
In prayer we're able to feel God's closeness and love. His love is a spiritual power that frees us from self-recrimination or destructive impulses. We will find desperation giving way to a longing to do better and be better; giving way to a thirst for things more spiritual. Making the Bible our companion can further our sense of the ever-presence of God's kingdom and of our place within it. The Bible says, ``Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.''3
But you may ask, What about the misery I feel right now in a situation that appears desperate and beyond my control? We can come to see -- and prove -- through prayer that no situation is outside God's control. He is omnipresent, and His help immediate. However, we often find our needs first being met deep within. Thoughts and motives are purified, and loving God becomes more important than getting what we think we deserve.
In fact, spiritually enlightened thought is the real force for change in our lives. Purified thoughts and motives are blessed by God, leading us into useful, satisfying activity.
The joy of spiritual rebirth, of putting off the ``old man'' for the new, includes developing one's spiritual sense and breaking free from a merely physical outlook on life. Why? Because the eyes and ears simply cannot grasp the good coming from divine Love. The depressing thoughts that would lead us to believe there's no way out or to a desire to end it all are not from God. And we don't need to accept such limits for ourselves. God is the one true Mind -- our real Mind. Therefore we have the capacity to know what is spiritually true about ourselves and to prove it.
Three times the devil tempted Jesus, including the suggestion that he throw himself down from the pinnacle of the temple. His response? ``Get thee hence, Satan.'' The account then goes on to say that ``angels came and ministered unto him.''4 In the Christian Science textbook, Mary Baker Eddy5 defines angels as ``God's thoughts passing to man; spiritual intuitions, pure and perfect; the inspiration of goodness, purity, and immortality, counteracting all evil, sensuality, and mortality.''6
Let's listen to God's angels, which come to us during moments of rebirth. We will find that this closeness to God brings with it greater joy, peace, purpose, and usefulness.
1John 3:5. 2Proverbs 8:1, 6. 3Psalms 100:3. 4Matthew 4:10, 11. 5The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. 6Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 581.