The thing which I greatly feared is come upon me.
From the August 1966 issue of The Christian Science Journal
* Photo – Job Meets With His Friends – Courtesy of allposters.com
Burdened in one way or another, humanity longs to rest in the assurance of a sustaining power beyond the limits of its own inadequate efforts. Many are willing to turn to God but are uncertain about the correct mental path to His presence. How often the heavy heart reechoes the cry of Job, voiced in the midst of his suffering, “Oh that I knew where I might find him!” 1
Further on in the same chapter we find this statement of Job’s: “Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him.”2 How true it is that we cannot find God by rambling in the mist of finite human opinions. Christian Science explains that material concepts, which present man as a mortal bounded by physicality and struggling to gain some sense of God’s loving support and guidance, have no more substance than a dream. Spiritual perception, however, reveals the truth of being, the truth of what God is and of what the real man’s coexistence with his Maker is.
Through prayer, some realization of God as infinite Spirit must have dawned on Job’s consciousness, for human misconceptions were replaced with spiritual facts in a degree sufficient to free him from his suffering. This healing brought God close to Job in his human experience. The story of Job holds a comforting message for all men everywhere.
To awake in a measure from the dream of matter as real and substantial to the awareness of Spirit as All is the correct mental means for finding God. This awakening is gradual because mankind have been duped by universal false beliefs, which suggest that there are life and intelligence in matter. But the fact is that God is Spirit and creates all in and of Himself. Neither God nor the man of God’s creating can be found in illusory material beliefs.
The physical body is not the image and likeness of divine Spirit; therefore physicality is not the condition of true selfhood. As we begin to understand even in a degree that God is Spirit and that our real, spiritual identity is immediately related to God, we find that the false sense of separation from His loving care lessens.
It was the mission of Christ Jesus to help mankind find God by lifting their thought above the darkness of material beliefs to the light of spiritual truths. The Master beheld the perfect man of God’s creating and proved by his works that spiritual man is coexistent with God. Mrs. Eddy perceived the Science of Jesus’ teachings and works. In referring to his mission she states in Science and Health: “The belief that man has existence or mind separate from God is a dying error. This error Jesus met with divine Science and proved its nothingness.” 3
Mrs. Eddy realized that if one is to find God, he must become increasingly aware of God’s nature. As an important means to this end the Christian Scientist daily devotes time to the prayerful study of the Bible and Science and Health. Throughout the textbook, Mrs. Eddy employs with Biblical authority seven synonymous terms in referring to God. These terms are Mind, Spirit, Principle, Soul, Life, Truth, Love. As the brilliance of a diamond comes from the many facets of the one jewel, so the glory of the nature and essence of the one God appears through these seven synonyms. The divine nature is expressed in God’s man, the only man there really is. Therefore in finding God, one also gains the correct concept of real selfhood.
Let us consider in detail some of the synonyms for God. This procedure will lead us to see how an understanding of these helps us to find God.
God is Mind, the only Mind. Man is Mind’s spiritual idea, reflecting the divine intelligence. The false sense of a personal mind embedded in brain is merely the supposition of intelligence in matter. Such a supposition seems to separate us from God and subject us to a sense of personal problems beyond our ability to solve. In our distress we long to find God, to feel the comfort of a sustaining power.
Truly to seek God entails a willingness to give up self-will, human outlining, a belief of a limited capacity, or false pride in personal intellect. Prayerful study carried on in the spirit of humility brings an awareness that the man of God’s creating is never separated from the source of all intelligence. In the degree that we demonstrate real selfhood, clarity of thought replaces confusion and human footsteps are guided in the right direction. This evidences Mind made manifest through its own idea, spiritual man. Mrs. Eddy says, “God is not separate from the wisdom He bestows.” 4
The ideas of divine Mind are wholly spiritual, for God is Spirit. The physical body is the subjective condition of material-mindedness or a so-called mortal mind. This false concept, unchecked, may come to include suggestions of exhaustion, sickness, deformity, and injury. As we deny reality to matter and turn completely to God, spiritual thoughts illumine our consciousness. False beliefs are replaced with a sense of vigor, health, and perfection. Thus is the presence of God realized in human experience, for spiritualized thought is the direct manifestation of Spirit.
In the proportion that human thought is regenerated, the understanding of God as Truth brings to light the reality and substance of Spirit. In this light, what has paraded as the solidity and tangibility of matter begins to fade into its native nothingness. As a result there is a great stirring of thought in response to the leaven of Truth. This transforms thought from a sense of separation from the heavenly Father to the understanding that where man is, God is.
God is Love, and since God is All-in-all, Love embraces all being. Weighted down with numerous woes, humanity longs for the assured safety of a loving, protective power. In reality man is the idea of Love and never has been and never can be torn from the bosom of the heavenly Father. There is no life outside the realm of Love. As we grow in the understanding of this spiritual truth, we find divine Love at hand to meet our present needs.
There was a troubled time in my experience when God seemed far away. My prayers appeared to reach no farther than the walls of my room and to return to me void. My heart cried out as had Job’s. I did not doubt that God was, but I could not find my way to Him.
In the midst of my despair, through no direct or specific planning on my part, a circumstance arose which resulted in my meeting a Christian Science practitioner. I realize now that this meeting was not by chance; it was God’s loving guidance in response to my cry. The simple statement that God is Love which I had heard all my life suddenly became an active force in my consciousness.
The Sunday following this meeting I began to attend a Christian Science church. I went to a practitioner for help, and in the months that followed I spent hours in a Christian Science Reading Room, studying the Bible, together with Science and Health and the other writings by Mrs. Eddy, and reading the Christian Science periodicals. I contemplated with newfound joy the irrefutable fact that anything that seems to oppose God’s goodness is not real. Torments that had put up a pretense of presence and power in my consciousness lost their hold as my thought opened to spiritual truths. Adjustments took place, restoring harmony and peace in my human experience.
To every heart that cries, “Oh that I knew where I might find him!” there is a clear, direct answer. It is not found in the paradox of supposed material laws or in a sense of self as a struggling mortal. The answer lies in the truth of man’s relation to God as given in the Bible and elucidated in the study of Christian Science. Through prayer, which acknowledges the allness of Spirit and the nothingness of matter, spiritual sense gains ascendency over false material concepts. The Bible promises us that if we keep this true fast, “Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am.” 5
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