WHEN our loved ones travel, or need to be away from home for a time, we sometimes feel concerned. We may tend to think that because they aren't with us at home, somehow their well-being is at risk.
Children go away to summer camp, business people travel, college students go away to school--there are so many reasons why someone may be away from everyday surroundings. Yet, during these times we can continue to trust our loved ones to their ever watchful Father, God. Because He is omnipresent, His care isn't limited to ``here.'' He embraces us everywhere we are.
But who is this God? In the ninety-first Psalm the Bible reminds us of God's perpetual mothering nature. The Psalmist says of God: ``He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust.'' He continues a few verses later: ``Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; there shall no evil befall thee . . . . For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways'' (91:4, 9-11). God is infinite Love. He is our divine Parent. He governs by means of His ever-present law of harmony, which maintains and sustains all creation. His will for us, and for all mankind, is always good.
In her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science, tells us about the nature of God. She sums up His nature in the Glossary, where she writes: ``God. The great I am; the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-acting, all-wise, all-loving, and eternal; Principle; Mind; Soul; Spirit; Life; Truth; Love; all substance; intelligence'' (p. 587).
When our loved ones are away--or even when youngsters grow up and leave home--we can know that they aren't leaving behind their security and well-being. Their home isn't determined by the branch they are perched on, but by God's care, which never leaves them! If we are tempted to be concerned about our loved ones when they are away from us, perhaps we need to reevaluate our own outlook and willingness to trust God. I had to do this one summer evening when we took our children and two of their friends to a very large outdoor gathering in our city and then lost track of them!
Twelve thousand bicycle enthusiasts had gathered for a twenty-mile midnight ride through the well-lighted streets of our downtown. Our family had planned to ride together as a group, but we became separated from the children within the first ten minutes of the three-hour ride. The event was well organized and people were friendly and helpful, so I did not feel frantic with fear. But I was concerned because of the strange territory, the masses of people, and the time of night.
Immediately I turned to God in prayer. I asked Him just what He knew to be the spiritual fact of our situation. God loves us and speaks to us in ways that we can understand and appreciate. In this case He answered my need with this thought: ``Could I love those children any more in your own backyard than I can love them right here?'' My fear melted away. Of course not! The power of God's love knows no bounds. God parted the Red Sea for the children of Israel, closed the mouths of the lions for Daniel, saved the three Hebrew men in the fiery furnace, and fed the multitudes that were following Christ Jesus. Certainly God could take care of these children on this bike ride. I could trust their ``all-knowing, all-seeing, all-acting, all-wise, all-loving'' Father, God, to watch out for them!
I saw that God, divine Mind, is the source of their good judgment and their alertness--as He is of mine. His spiritual vision provided foresight and insight along their journey. His perpetual Love supplied consideration and brotherly kindness from the other bikers on the trip. I saw that accidents and equipment break-downs were no part of His law of harmony that governed their every moment.
As I reviewed all the ways that God was caring for our children during this bicycle tour, I realized that they would be just fine. Because of the confidence and peace that this understanding had brought us, my husband and I had a marvelous ride ourselves as we enjoyed the beautiful, balmy summer night. Three hours later, as we rolled in to the origination point, we didn't have to spend a moment searching through the twelve thousand other riders to find our children. They were standing on the curb right ahead of us, eagerly waving at us. They wanted to go again the next year!
Their safety hadn't depended on having me or my husband with them, but on God. And they had been just as safe as they would have been in our own backyard because they had God with them every minute!
Humble yourselves therefore
under the mighty hand of God,
that he may exalt you
in due time:
casting all your care
for he careth for you
I Peter 5:6, 7