Discovering God's Goodness
DIFFICULTIES can seem very powerful, aggressive, even unsolvable. But are they really? I remember laughing when I saw one of our young shetland ponies playfully rear up in front of our draft horse, putting one front leg on each side of the draft horse's neck. The draft horse took one quiet step forward and the pony fell over backward (unhurt).Remembering this incident reminded me that a difficulty can be like that little pony. In rearing up--trying to be more threatening--it becomes an obvious nuisance and puts itself in position to be overthrown. I realized that the law of God is more powerful than any difficulty and can overthrow it. And, although the pony took no harm from his tumble, God's power destroys the evils that seem so threatening. When a problem looms aggressively, then, that is the time to lean more on God. Sometimes difficulties seem to have gone on for so long or to be so overwhelming that we're tempted to give up trying to overcome them. But if we're forced instead to give up our old habits of thought and turn unreservedly to God, our very difficulties can lead us to the great discovery of God's goodness and all-power. Jesus' teachings help us know that God loves us and is always caring for us. God is good and God is Spirit, therefore what God made is good and spiritual. Being conscious of this spiri tual goodness is being aware of what's really true. The material sense of things makes everything look bleak but what it shows us isn't God's creation. Most of us carry on with a basically material view of things until something makes us uncomfortable, or worse. That discomfort, however, can be what wakes us up to the need to see things more spiritually. When we're shaken out of our old ways of thinking, we're sometimes more willing to accept the goodness of God. Most of us don't find it easy to change our habits of thought, and sometimes it takes g reat effort--and much prayer. Prayer is vitally important to Christian endeavor. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, recognized that the divine laws behind Christ Jesus' healing work are available to all for all time. In her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, she refers to Jesus' counsel: "When thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. Mrs. Eddy comments: "To enter into the heart of prayer, the door of the erring senses must be closed. Lips must be mute and materialism silent, that man may have audience with Spirit, the divine Principle, Love, which destroys all error. And she adds, "In the quiet sanctuary of earnest longings, we must deny sin and plead God's allness. Knowing God's allness counteracts the human tendency to be impressed by evil, which can seem overwhelming. But God never made evil, and therefore it isn't real but is an illusion. That's a radical idea and may not be easy to accept. Christianity does challenge our perception of what is real and demands a change in thinking--a change to thinking based on spiritual fact. Praying to know God's allness puts weight on the side of good and destroys evil's pretense to power. This is God, divine Love, at work in our lives, actually destroying evil. Far from being selfish, praying in this way demands and awakens great Christian love. Each victory over any evil helps to make the discovery of God's goodness that much more available to everyone.