IT was just after midnight, and I was checking the thermometers every half-hour. Wind machines were turned on to bring warm air down around the cherry buds so they wouldn't freeze. Because such measures have only a limited ability to protect the trees, I turned to God in prayer.
God is a sure help, and He is able and willing to care for every aspect of His creation. In between temperature checks I read from the Bible and from the writings of the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy. I was praying to gain a deeper understanding of God as Life. What I was reading showed me that Life, God, is evidenced in spirituality, progress, love, and joy. God created the universe, including man, to express these qualities, and both man and the universe are wholly spiritual.
This all sounded nice, but it still felt very cold, and the weather seemed to be changing for the worse. I persisted, however, in listening with spiritual sense. Spiritual sense enables us to distinguish between what God is declaring (the reality that life is eternal) and what matter is insinuating (that life is temporal and limited). I refused to contemplate weather reports and past experiences with freezes. I was able to appreciate the good we already had and felt truly grateful for the people that work here on the farm.
I made another trip outside. Because I was no longer immersed in anxiety, I looked up and noticed the thinnest crescent moon almost hidden by the tops of the trees. It was radiant. The moon was barely detectable. I knew, however, that the moon is always intact, embraced by the order of the universe. As I stood thinking about God's orderly creation, one of Christ Jesus' parables came to mind. It couldn't have been more fitting!
A sower sowed seed all over. The seed--the Word of God--fell by the wayside, on rocks, among thorns, and on good soil. Matthew's Gospel tells us that ``He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful'' (13:22). Temperatures were holding steady, so I went back to the house to weed mental thorns. I didn't want concern for worldly things to keep me from being spiritually fruitful! It was a prickly job, but as I continued to pray a self-assertive attitude gave way to trust in an all-powerful God, divine Life, and to an increased desire to love more impartially and to share happiness. Thought that is giving up worldly desires, timidity, and limitation is the good soil in which the seed of Truth prospers. A seed, a glimpse of Spirit, may appear small, but it is complete. Included right within it is all that is needed to recognize infinite Life. Life does not include death, weariness, or decay. Growth, renewal, fruition, are hints of the eternality of life in God.
All elements in the atmosphere of God, Life, are beneficial. Mrs. Eddy writes in her Miscellaneous Writings, ``Experience shows that humility is the first step in Christian Science, wherein all is controlled, not by man or laws material, but by wisdom, Truth, and Love'' (p. 354). All life, substance, and progress is controlled by the all-wise God. Nothing can develop or be developed to destroy a part of His expression. The Word of God is sown in the good ground of our receptive hearts. We don't have to wait a season for the fruit, however. That night, just before what had been predicted to be the coldest time, the temperature rose. It stayed warm. We turned off the wind machines, and they were never used the rest of the spring. The crop thrived unharmed.