Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.
Psalms 46:2,3 (to 1st .)
This verse caught my eye this morning, as I was reading the Weekly Bible Lesson. In the past, I’ve sort of skipped over this verse as it does seem to be a little disastrous. But this morning, I really latched onto the beginning of this selection: “Therefore will not we fear.” If I’m not afraid, then there also can’t be a real disaster going on. So what’s all this about mountains falling into the ocean?
Through my study of Christian Science, I’m learning to “resolve things into thoughts,” to spiritualize things and concepts so I can see the divinely inspired meaning behind it. Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer and founder of Christian Science, puts it this way: “Divine Science, rising above physical theories, excludes matter, resolves things into thoughts, and replaces the objects of material sense with spiritual ideas.” (Science and Health, with Key to the Scriptures, page 123 line 12) If matter is actually excluded from the equation, then there’s got to be a deeper meaning than simply a prediction of mountains falling into the ocean.
Here in Bend, Oregon, the mountains, buttes, rivers and canyons are all distinguishing landmarks. When I’ve crossed over Santiam Pass and am driving through country that slowly but steadily has been changing from rainforest to snow-capped mountain, from pine forest to high desert, a deep feeling of coming home always grows in my heart. But does this feeling of homecoming and quiet joy come from the physical mountains and rivers? No! Those are some symbols that speak to me of home, but home is so much more than this. Likewise, if I’m running or playing a sport, I have a great sense of health and freedom; if I’m relaxing with Lindsey while playing a board game, playing Wii, or watching a movie, I have a great sense of family and peace, but even here, health, freedom, family and peace are all so much more than the symbols that express these. My health doesn’t depend on running – and, my health doesn’t depend on the senses. Even if I seem to feel poorly one day, it doesn’t mean there’s any truth behind it – that somehow my health left. If I have a really busy day without even a moment to just sit down, it doesn’t mean I don’t have peace. Why? Because the symbols of health, freedom, joy, peace, family, prosperity, fulfillment, freshness are just symbols, and not the whole of it. All good is of God, who is not and never was or will be limited or defined in a limited form. There is a spiritual law that upholds all good. My peace depends only on God.
So, back to the mountains drowning in the ocean. This verse tells me that even if some of the symbols of some quality seem to change, it doesn’t have anything to do with the spiritual reality. This isn’t to say that it’s therefore acceptable to feel sick, scared, or sad but just try to brush it off. It’s that your health does not depend on anything except God, Love. This love is expressed, and when our fear ceases, we’re able to see this grace, health, and harmony expressed. Mrs. Eddy has a beautiful “Scientific Statement of Being” in Science and Health which includes this description of man: “All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation…Therefore man is not material; he is spiritual.” (page 468, line 9) This promise means that I don’t have to be scared if something does seem to be wrong. Instead, I can go forward, confident in the great love God has for His idea, man. In my work as a practitioner this is very important. If someone gives me a call or sends an email and tells me about something they are dealing with, I can’t become scared or somehow think that this dear person has somehow been removed from God’s love. Even if I pass by someone on the street who may appear to be homeless or ill, I don’t ever want to accept the mortal picture. No matter what the senses say, we are all, always, deeply cherished and defined by God’s infinite love. A greater understanding of this always brings healing – not changing a real, sick mortal into a healthy mortal, but uncovering the lie that says that God’s child is ever less than whole.
It’s so good to know that our health, joy, and peace aren’t dependent on anything but God – changeless, eternal, infinite Love.