IT was a late afternoon last winter. Snow fell steadily outside. The supermarket was crowded. Household tasks and professional responsibilities awaited me at home, and I had a long grocery list. My little daughter tugged at my sleeve, leading me back an aisle to show me something she wanted to buy. Inside, I groaned. The day's burdens wore heavily on me. Then, as I watched her I thought about how happy and helpful she'd been the entire day. ``She's a blessing!'' I thought.
Then, I thought for a moment about all we'd accomplished together that day and realized, ``This whole day is a blessing!'' The feeling of hurry and burden lifted right then. I stopped fretting about what I still had to do and felt the joy of the moment and the blessing of being with my child.
This one little incident with my daughter caused an about-face in my thinking that day. Her mom thinks she's an angel. I know she was an angel that day, for her happiness and ability overtly to ignore my irritation and burden helped to wrench my thought loose from these, and to put my day on a better footing!
Of course, we don't simply snap our fingers and turn something difficult into a blessing. What my daugh- ter's joy had done was remind me that there is a reason for thinking differently about our lives. Underlying it is the transforming presence of God Himself. The Bible, in Genesis, tells the story of Jacob's fleeing across the wilderness to escape his brother's anger. He had wronged Esau, and he now had only a life in exile ahead of him. But one night, Jacob dreamed of a ladder reaching heaven with ang els going up and down on it. And he heard God reassuring him of His continuing love and presence. When Jacob woke, he said, ``Surely, the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not.''
God's presence is more than just a pleasant thought that has no particular connection with what we're doing at the moment. Think of the life of Christ Jesus. Here was a life filled with meaning! Yet Jesus himself said that he was only working and living according to what God was showing him. ``My Father worketh hitherto, and I work,'' is how he put it in John's Gospel.
This divine presence--the presence of God--can be felt as consciously as we might feel the presence of a friend or companion. And this divine presence is what makes healing possible. Troubles, tragedies, heartbreaks, burdens, dangers--all yield to Christ's power. The difficulties themselves aren't somehow blessings, however! It is the healing, transforming power of God's love that reveals the blessing by destroying the difficulty.
Because God is infinite Spirit--and Spirit must be infinite!-- He is always present in all places. This could not possibly be a weak presence; it is the presence of divine Love itself--the presence of God, the creator of man and all things real. One aspect of divine Love is that it is all-powerful. And this surely includes the power of transforming any experience, any situation, with the harmony and wholeness that are natural to God's creation.
Of course, we must understand and accept the presence of God with all the heart and allow it to govern our actions. In her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, the Founder of the Christian Science Church, Mary Baker Eddy, says simply, ``To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, to-day is big with blessings.''
This ``sustaining infinite'' is the ever-present God, and the leaning we do is by no means a collapse! Instead, it's a yielding to this divine presence, this heavenly direction and control in our lives. And by yielding to God we are truly empowered! This is what turns the day--any day--into a blessing.