Have you ever reached out to God in desperation, wondering if there was any hope for you to be saved out of a heart-breaking situation, and the Christ came immediately, rescued you, and answered your prayer?
I have, and it was the most life-changing experience that I have ever had.
It was a warm, sunny day, and I was on a paddleboard out in the middle of the lake, thinking about how I was going to survive another day, and wondering if this life was truly worth living. I had suddenly and unexpectedly lost someone very dear, and felt overwhelmed by grief and torn between earth and heaven. It actually felt as if I had one foot “on earth” and one foot “in heaven” and that someone was playing tug-o-war with my arms, yanking them back and forth. Not wanting to give in to this feeling and give up hope, and wanting to be strong for my family, I knelt down on my knees to pray.
Have you ever done that?
Right there in the middle of the lake, I kneeled down on that paddle board, looked up to heaven, and issued my heart’s desperate plea to God. Surprisingly, it came in the words of a poem that is very dear to me and have known since I was a little girl:
“Father, where Thine own children are, I love to be.”
What happened next is an experience I will never forget.
The words to the rest of that wonderful poem, “Christ my Refuge,” by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, which also has a beautiful melody and is in the Christian Science hymnal, filled my heart and mind.
O'er waiting harpstrings of the mind
There sweeps a strain,
Low, sad, and sweet,
whose measures bind
The power of pain.
I got up off my knees and started paddling again. My joy-filled heart now was singing the hymn out loud to anyone who could hear it (mainly turtles, a heron, and some ducks). A sweet sense of serenity enveloped me, and God’s love shined down from above, covering the lake with the light of its golden glow. Instead of feeling tugged in two opposing directions, I knew that I could confidently yield to Life, God. I felt an irresistible pull towards what I can only describe as the presence of the Christ. I was saved.
It seemed to me that this must be how the disciples felt when they realized their best friend Jesus was walking towards them, on top of the waves, removing all fear and doubt, and drying all their tears. (See Matthew 14:24-32)
My tears had dried, too. A sense of sorrow and insecurity was replaced by a feeling of safety, security, and even joy. As another beautiful hymn describes, my heart was singing,
I had found “the way.”
And you can find it, too.
God says, "I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal, says the Lord, because they have called you an outcast: I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you. Again, I will build you, and you shall be built."
(Jeremiah 30:17; 31:3-4).
It seemed to me that this must be how the disciples felt
The 23rd Psalm in the Bible contains this wonderful verse:
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He restores my soul, sings the Psalmist.
This line, ‘he restores my soul,’ is one of my favorite lines in the Bible.”
I was thinking about a time when I mentioned this one day to a young child.
“Who broke your soul?” the child gently replied.
The child’s compassion and expression of God’s tender love made me realize I had been thinking of myself as incomplete, as someone with a broken heart and soul that desperately needed some spiritual mending.
Our true spiritual selfhood, our only identity, as the image and likeness of God, however, never needs spiritual restoration. The truth about Soul is that it is another name for God, and each one of us is, and always has been a whole, complete and perfect reflection. Like the sun and its rays, Soul cannot fade, break into pieces, or become obsolete. And Soul’s reflection, God’s sweet sunshine, each one of us, individually and collectively, needs no spiritual restoration to a previous state of being.
God’s heart never breaks, and He loves us always, because He is endless, all-encompassing, divine Love.
“Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world,”
is a promise of the Christ (Matthew 28:20).
Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer and founder of Christian Science, says in her textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, that this promise “is not only in all time, but in all ways and conditions,” (p. 317:14). She goes on to say that “To understand God strengthens hope, enthrones faith in Truth, and verifies Jesus’s word, “Lo, I am with you alway,” (p. 446:20-23).
If we feel we have made a world-ending mistake, we have God’s permission to let that go. Our atonement is our oneness with God, our one-on-one reflection of divine Love. God’s love isn’t earned. It cannot be lost or taken away. It just is - because God is - infinite, unending, unconditional Love.
God’s Mind and Soul is Love, and He only thinks lovingly of each one of his individual, beloved children, each one of us.
Today is a good day to lay aside every thought of a sinful self, separate from Soul, and to accept willingly God’s precious Love.
It fulfills every need.
To understand God strengthens hope, enthrones faith in Truth, and verifies Jesus’s word, “Lo, I am with you alway,”
Daily Bread is a small bite of inspiration for today.