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God's authority over earth forces

A Christian Science perspective on daily life.

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Millions of people in the midwestern United States were awakened by an earthquake last Friday morning. The quake, which registered 5.2 on seismic scales, shook high-rise buildings in Chicago, far away from the epicenter in southern Illinois, but no loss of life or serious property damage was reported.

Even when there's little damage, an earthquake brings out the vastness of the forces at work and can make one feel small, insignificant, and at the mercy of plates that shift under pressure along fault lines billions of years old. Such an awareness builds compassion for people who live in earthquake-prone areas of the world.

Often scientists can predict an upcoming quake. Those predictions may be frightening, but they can also compel us to pray – to turn to God for guidance about what steps to take if we live in the affected area. They can also encourage everyone – including those outside the zone – to pray in support of those who are near it. Such prayer is most effective when it rests on an affirmation that the spiritual laws of the universe are constantly, tenderly, and unerringly holding all of God's creation – including us – in perfect alignment, order, and harmony.

The Bible tells about those laws and gives examples of their ability to supersede the laws of the physical universe. For instance, when Elijah was discouraged about his effectiveness as a spiritual leader, and turned wholeheartedly to God, he learned more about these laws. While standing on a mountaintop, he was confronted by three fearsome forces of nature. First, "a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: and after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice" (I Kings 19:11, 12).

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