"Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." - John 8:32

Thought for the Week - last week's message 

GOD THE PRESERVER OF MAN  

Why does God preserve man? Because the original always preserves itself and its reflection. Certainly the Psalmist caught a glimpse of this inherent protection when he declared: "I will dwell in the house (consciousness) of the Lord for ever." {Ps.23:6) He also refers to God as "my hiding place" and "keeper" and writes: "The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil; he shall preserve thy soul." (Ps. 121:7) How comforting it is for each of us to know that "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want." (Ps.23:1) Isaiah also instructs us to ask God "of things to come concerning (His) sons ... " After all, God has "raised him up in righteousness" and "will direct all his ways." (lsa.45:11 and 13)

Moreover, the divine Principle, Love, is "the universal cause, the only creator," and is both omnipresent and individual. Mary Baker Eddy adds: "The three great verities of Spirit, omnipotence, omnipresence, omniscience,--Spirit possessing all power, filling all space, constituting all Science,--contradict forever the belief that matter can be actual." (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, 331:18 and 109:32) The Psalmist had such a comforting, all-encompassing sense of the protective presence of God when he wrote: "He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler." (Ps.91:4)

And again: "He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul; he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake." (Ps. 23:2 3 ) Even in "great waters" God makes the "storm a calm" and so maintains quiet and comfort. Jesus proved this when, in a ship with his disciples, a great storm arose. He was asleep but when awakened by his disciples, he rebuked the wind, and "there was a great calm." (Mark 4:36-39} 

In storms of various kinds (political, climatic, familial), we can trust God's disposal of events and be at rest. As Mrs. Eddy puts it: "Through divine Science, Spirit, God, unites understanding to eternal harmony. The calm and exalted thought or spiritual apprehension is at peace." (S&H 506:10-12) The Psalmist put it this way: "Yes, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me." (Ps.23:4) And we read in Deuteronomy: "Be strong and of a good courage, fear not ... for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee." (31:6)

The lesson includes the account in Luke, Chapter 8, of a ruler of the synagogue named Jairus, whose only daughter was near death. He besought Jesus to come to help her. But when Jesus arrived at the home, the child appeared to have died. Jesus' instructed the father: "Fear not; believe only, and she shall be made whole." Putting out all the mourners, Jesus took the maid by the hand and told her to arise. She did and was able to eat. (Luke 8:41-42, 49-55) Mrs. Eddy emphasizes the necessity of casting out fear in order to trust God. She writes: "The only course is to take antagonistic grounds against all that is opposed to the health, holiness, and harmony of man, God's image." {S&H 392:8-10)

Why are we, God's ideas, exempt from disease and danger? Because we are God governed, made in God's image. Knowing this, we can recognize "life harmonious" and can "supplant error with Truth, replace mortality with immortality, and silence discord with harmony." (S&H 495:16) Not only do God's angels {thoughts) lift us upwards but give us guidance and deliverance. In Revelation, when Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, they prevailed, and the dragon (a symbol of threats and deception) was cast out. (Rev.12:7-10)

If it seems that today the world has become an arena for "conflicting forces" (the breaking up of material beliefs) we can be confident that the nothingness of "woe, sin, sickness, and death" will appear. Yes, God is a "very present help in trouble," and divine Love is "impartial and universal in its ... bestowals." God DOES preserve His own image-does deliver, honor, and bless each of us.

Jamae van Eck