NO matter how many mistakes we've made, how many times we've turned away from doing God's will, we're not cut off from His love. How often I've felt that I had got too far away or had done something so unforgivable that I couldn't feel God's presence. But as I've turned with all my heart toward God, His love has been right there. God does love us. We can't do anything to change that. The Psalmist said, referring to Deity: ``Whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.''1 So whether we believe we're in a state of heaven or hell, we're still held in God's care.
Does this excuse sin? No, because sin must be overcome in order to know and prove our unity with God and to feel consistently the presence of His love.
There are so many examples in the Bible of God's unwavering care and forgiveness. For instance, the children of Israel repeatedly forgot the wonderful ways God had cared for them. But God never forsook them.
At the Red Sea they doubted God could save them from the fast-approaching Egyptians. (I probably would have too.) When there was no food to eat or water to drink, they were sure that they would perish. Yet in each instance they were provided with exactly what they needed.
One would think that after seeing just one of these mighty acts, they could never have doubted again. But the human mind tends to forget or to diminish even the most wonderful proofs of God's power. As Christ Jesus said to the multitudes when assuring them of God's care of daily needs, ``O ye of little faith.''2
About seven years ago, because of a business failure, I lost most of my possessions and was without a home. Yet in some very remarkable ways our family's needs were met. In spite of the repeated evidences of being cared for by God, however, I was afraid. But God didn't stop providing for my needs.
Even if we've had terrible doubts, we've never actually been outside God's care. Our true being, as God's spiritual image, is inseparable from Him.
We may have felt far from God, out in the hard, cold world all alone, but there's a deeper sense in which this was never true. It was only that we were using the material senses to assess what was going on and couldn't cognize what was spiritually true. We can't stop being loved and cared for any more than God can stop being God. If we listen in the quietness of prayer, letting our God-given spiritual sense guide us, we'll hear His voice.
So, no matter how long it has been since we last prayed or how far we seem to have strayed, we can always turn back to Him and be assured of finding His guidance and tenderness. In speaking of God as the divine Principle of Christian healing, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes, ``This apodictical Principle points to the revelation of Immanuel, `God with us,' -- the sovereign ever-presence, delivering the children of men from every ill `that flesh is heir to.'''3
The knowledge that God is always with us, always loving man in His likeness, is priceless. It enables us to find the pathway out of difficulty or simply to feel more of what is true about ourselves.
1Psalms 139:7-10. 2Matthew 6:30. 3Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 107.