Hope for the Midwest
A Christian Science perspective on daily life.
Up and down residential streets in the midwestern United States, hoses run from houses, draining flooded basements. In Wisconsin, Lake Delton overflowed and cut a path to the nearby Wisconsin River, swamping the surrounding countryside and breaking up houses and roads along the way. Similar conditions exist in other areas of the Midwest.
Radar maps and newspaper photos graphically depict the problem as neighbors and communities rally to one another's aid. There is a divine power that supports these efforts at achieving good and can meet the challenge of disastrous weather.
The Bible includes several accounts of fierce storms, but they don't emphasize the helplessness of humanity or the inevitability of disaster. Rather, they point to the ways that God provides for us in all situations. In the flood described in the book of Genesis, it's Noah's goodness and readiness to listen to divine inspiration that enabled him to positively and successfully respond to what seemed like hopeless conditions.
With the understanding that spiritual good has the ultimate power and control over natural forces, comes an increased awareness of God's present care. In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus' response to his disciples' fear of a storm makes this point: "And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?" (4:39, 40).
Even if we can't actually stop a storm as Jesus did, we can do our best to trust in God, divine Life, Truth, and Love. The basis of Jesus' ministry is that God is divine Love – a saving and comforting presence with us everywhere and all the time. God never sends evil.
How can we find this to be true when it seems that good is lost, and we're feeling overwhelmed by forces that appear to be beyond our control? In "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," the Christian Science textbook, Mary Baker Eddy rejected the notion that God causes or permits evil of any kind. She wrote: "In one sense God is identical with nature, but this nature is spiritual and is not expressed in matter.... God is natural good, and is represented only by the idea of goodness; while evil should be regarded as unnatural, because it is opposed to the nature of Spirit, God" (p. 119).
Letting into our thought divine good, the inspiration of Love, makes God's tangible care evident. Weather may be changeable, but we can never be cut off from "the idea of goodness," which connects us with God. Prayer that affirms this unity of God and creation, Father-Mother and child, uncovers the reality of His love, which preserves and maintains all that is necessary to life.
Jesus told those who had seen him prove the ever-present love of God for man – meaning both men and women – in all possible conditions: "Whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock" (Matt. 7:24, 25). This rock – the truth of God's love for man, which Jesus proved over and over again – is the solid ground on which we rest in time of trouble. Here, in God's presence, even if we feel it only faintly, we have a basis for recovering damaged homes, allaying fear of storms and their effects, and gaining a more inspired, practical foundation for our lives.
God is with us, providing the inspiration, ingenuity, and compassionate impulses that meet our needs. Divine Love embraces those whose lives have been touched by storms, rebuilding and restoring whatever good seems to have been lost. Christ-like, scientific prayer provides a clearer sense of God, whose power "gathered the wind in his fists" (Prov. 30:4) and who has blessings for all His children, regardless of the weather.