On Your Own?
Bringing a spiritual perspective to world events and daily life.
Do you ever feel all alone, perhaps worried you'll have to do something all by yourself? I recently began to feel I had to do an important task all alone, without anyone's help.
I began to reflect on some of the Biblical characters I knew of who had made remarkable triumphs. If you aren't familiar with any of them, you can find practical help by reading about them. David faced Goliath alone (five stones and a slingshot provided little company in the presence of a formidable giant!). Daniel stared into the eyes of hungry lions by himself. Noah alone knew the purpose for the strange boat he was building-protection from the flooding of the earth. Perhaps the ultimate illustration of a lack of human help came when Christ Jesus, about to be crucified, struggled in prayer into the night while his disciples, his only support group, slept.
Further investigation of these courageous people always turns up evidence of an important Bible promise from God: "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee" (Hebrews 13:5). And God never did forsake any of these people-he was always with them, and their victories came through their reliance on His power. David conquered Goliath. Daniel survived the lions' den. Noah saved his family from the flood. Jesus conquered death.
When Biblical people were alone, important news often came to them that verified God's companionship and announced His blessings. Mary was alone when she received the inspiration that she would bear a Saviour. Moses' experience of solitary communing with God was so special that on one occasion he was told to remove his shoes because he stood on holy ground; on another such occasion, Moses received from God the ten all-important rules for living, called the Commandments, which are the basis of even modern laws. All of these people were to overcome fear. They cherished their closeness to God. While they were humanly alone, their communion with God brought about life-changing experiences, and instead of finding emptiness or personal inadequacy, they enjoyed the blessings of listening to God: goodness, success, and progress. Indeed it would seem we can often hear God's message to us more clearly in moments when we are by ourselves; sometimes solitude is very conducive to listening.
Closer in history to our own day, Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science, also found God to be ever present as a companion, Father, and Mother. Her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures explains that the unity each of us has with God -- a unity that can never be broken and that keeps us from ever being solitary-is seen in the concept of reflection. It says, "As the reflection of yourself appears in the mirror, so you, being spiritual, are the reflection of God. The substance, Life, intelligence, Truth, and Love, which constitute Deity, are reflected by His creation; and when we subordinate the false testimony of the corporeal senses to the facts of Science, we shall see this true likeness and reflection everywhere" (p. 516).
If, as the Bible tells us, we are made in the image of God, and if, as we've just read, we reflect God, then we must always include goodness and love, which mark God's nature-and our nature as His children. In order for an image to be reflected, the original must be always there. Similarly, in order for us to be God's reflection, He must be present with us.
In my case, the good news that came to me in my solitude was that I was reflecting God. He was with me, and His qualities-inspiration, direction, ability, strength, and so forth-had always been within me. They were my inevitable companions. Interestingly enough, after this realization, people began providing the help I needed. As a symbol of God's presence, this human help represented the divine Love that I learned had really always been with me, even before I had been fully aware of it. It is reassuring to know that, like those great Bible people, we absolutely, always, have God's help and His company to rely on! We're never really on our own -- we are with God.
Articles and features on Christian Science appear in a monthly magazine, The Christian Science Journal.