The practicality of depending on God
Once I found myself dependent on a particular individual for my happiness and security. But I was let down and felt lonely, helpless. Evaluating my predicament, I realized how often we tend to rely on some person to care for our needs. We may look to parents, or to a teacher, or a boss, or a friend. Of course, God's provision may be beautifully expressed in the relationship of parent and child or teacher and student. Even so, the issue of where to look for our security goes deeper.
As I was recalling one of the most basic teachings of the Bible, a new idea dawned on me. The first commandment states, ''Thou shalt have no other gods before me.'' n1 I began to see that as long as I was looking basically to a person to fulfill my needs, I wasn't looking firmly enough to God. Therefore I was disobeying the first commandment. This was a shocking revelation. All these years I had been searching in the wrong place, had been disappointed, and had proceeded to blame my unhappiness on others.
But then I became skeptical. Here I am living in the 1980s. I need supportive relationships, a fulfilling career, protection, and health. With all these pressing needs, how can I possibly depend on a rule that was written centuries ago?
I did know that throughout the Bible there were examples of how God and His law of good had cared for those who relied on Him and obeyed the first commandment. While Moses was leading the children of Israel to freedom, each of their needs was met. Christ Jesus, relying on one God, was able to heal dreaded diseases and surmount every form of limitation. But how could obeying the first commandment and depending on God's love help me?
I found my answer in the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. Here Mary Baker Eddy n2 writes, ''It is not well to imagine that Jesus demonstrated the divine power to heal only for a select number or for a limited period of time, since to all mankind and in every hour, divine Love supplies all good.'' n3
n2 Mrs. Eddy is the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.
n3 Science and Health, p. 494.
I realized that God's law certainly was available to me. I saw, too, that if I was going to start trusting God, it had to be on the basis of understanding Him. It couldn't just be a blind faith or a Pollyanna type of trust. A radical change of consciousness was necessary.
How could this new understanding help fulfill a need such as satisfying relationships?When I sought the answer in the Bible, I found that John plainly declares, ''God is love.'' n4 The Scriptures also make it clear that He is supreme, infinite. In reality, then, there can be no lack of love. Since divine Love doesn't share its creation with any other power, no other seeming power, no false gods such as hate or jealousy, can stand. Depending on divine Love, we'll have no fear of loneliness, of being hurt, or of lacking love.
n4 I John 4:16.
As I looked around, though, I saw an employee bitter about his working situation. I saw a married couple getting a divorce. And I saw these same roots of conflict amplified in international disputes. Why?
Each one of these situations, I realized, resulted from a misunderstanding of Love and of Love's creation. God, limitless good, did not create good and evil. He created only good. On this basis, difficulties can be resolved through prayer. The path to harmony appears as we avail ourselves of the omnipotence of good, of divine Love, and as we put away false gods.
As I put false gods aside and looked to God's law for satisfying relationships, I saw I could depend on Him to care for other needs, too. This did not mean, however, that I could just sit back and say, ''All is well.'' I had a responsibility to pray and to respond to God's guidance.
The twenty-third Psalm states, ''The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.'' n5 As we allow God to be our Shepherd, we cannot want. God is in control. He does meet our need, and above all, He loves us. These are facts we can each start to prove.Psalms
DAILY BIBLE VERSE God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid. Isaiah 12:2