A Refuge from the Storm

         Christian Science teaches its students to search for and find the reason for things, and never to stop until they have reached the unchanging basis of divine Principle. Throughout long years Christian people have believed, and believed rightly, that God governs all things; it must be understood, however, that by all things is meant all that is included in the divine creation which was pronounced by its creator good. People have been led to believe that somehow or other God had changed His original standard of infinite good, and had come to express His power in evil. Thus it has been believed that God is responsible for storm and tempest, for the destructive forces which are the cause of so much human suffering, and also for the pests which destroy vegetation and deprive mankind of the grains and fruits needed for their sustenance. Christian Science challenges this belief, and insists that God, divine Principle, can never be untrue to His own nature, can never express Himself in aught unlike Truth and Love.

         The question then arises, — and it is one which cannot be evaded in the present age, — If God does not send storm and tempest, and is not responsible for sin, sickness, and death, whence come these terrible and undesirable conditions? The one outside of Christian Science who hesitates to charge these ills to the Almighty replies at once that these things are the necessary expression of nature's laws; but this reply only evades the question, for if God is admitted to be the one Lawgiver, then He would be responsible for all the conditions which are the outcome of the laws instituted by Him. It is true that we find much in the Scriptures which seems to support the belief that God is the author of the storm as well as of the calm, but from the Christian Science viewpoint this was merely an expression of the mistaken belief which has been held by mortals throughout the ages, so long as they accepted as real the evidences of material sense. Ever and anon there came, however, gleams of divine light; and so we find the psalmist telling us of those who were delivered by God "from their destructions." Then follows this beautiful passage: "They cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still."

         In Christian Science we are taught that the carnal mind which Paul tells us "is enmity against God" is responsible for everything unlike God, and it also teaches that the understanding of divine law, and reliance upon it up to the point of demonstration, will destroy this false evidence of a power opposed to God and unlike Him. In the fourth chapter of Mark we read that after Jesus gave one of his marvelous discourses to the multitudes he took ship with his disciples, and that a great storm arose, so that they were apparently in peril of their lives. The Master was, however, asleep, so we read, and the disciples awoke him with the reproachful question, "Master, carest thou not that we perish?" What follows is of the deepest interest to the student of Christian Science. We read that Jesus "arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still." The result was immediately in accordance with his words, and we are told that there was "a great calm." It goes without saying that if Christ Jesus had regarded this storm as a manifestation of divine law or divine will, he certainly would not have rebuked it. From the Christian Science viewpoint it was simply a manifestation of the carnal mind which was even then plotting to destroy the divine idea expressed by Christ Jesus; and he addressed himself to it as he did knowing its utter powerlessness. He knew, what the student of Christian Science should never forget, that evil has no more power over God's man than it has over God Himself.

         On page 67 of Science and Health Mrs. Eddy says: "The notion that animal natures can possibly give force to character is too absurd for consideration, when we remember that through spiritual ascendency our Lord and Master healed the sick, raised the dead, and commanded even the winds and waves to obey him." It is therefore the sure privilege of everyone who has begun to recognize himself as the child of God to declare truth in the way the Master did, and then to live up to his own spiritual declaration. The so-called forces of nature are really forces of Mind, and it rests with us to prove that mortal mind has no control over them, over us, or, indeed, over anything. It has no power to destroy human life or anything which is divinely provided for human need, and this calls upon us to "watch and pray" constantly, both for ourselves and for others, that the omnipotence of Truth and Love shall prevail at all times. Let us ponder these beautiful words from the twenty-fifth chapter of Isaiah's prophecy: "For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall." On page 362 of "Miscellaneous Writings" Mrs. Eddy says, "We all must find shelter from the storm and tempest in the tabernacle of Spirit." It is indeed good to know that this shelter is prepared for all of us, wherever we may be, and we have but to avail ourselves through spiritual understanding of this rich provision of divine Love.


"A Refuge from the Storm" by Annie M. Knott, CSD
Christian Science Sentinel, July 6, 1918

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