In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy, we read: “Angels are not etherealized human beings, evolving animal qualities in their wings; but they are celestial visitants, flying on spiritual, not material, pinions. Angels are pure thoughts from God, winged with Truth and Love, no matter what their individualism may be” (p. 298). In the Glossary of Science and Health, angels are further defined: “ANGELS. God’s thoughts passing to man; spiritual intuitions, pure and perfect; the inspiration of goodness, purity, and immortality, counteracting all evil, sensuality, and mortality” (p. 581).
In my life I have often experienced God sending us His angel messages—pure thoughts—when, humanly speaking, we are at our wit’s end. These inspirations appear in different ways. Sometimes one is led to open the Bible, a book by Mary Baker Eddy, or one of the Christian Science periodicals spontaneously to read a particular passage which contains exactly the right answer to a question. Another time one may meet a person who tells him exactly what he needs to hear to find the solution to a problem.
We will do well to let God’s angel messages always lead us. Try it yourself sometime!
Recently, when I read several passages from the Bible Lesson in the Christian Science Quarterly that had to do with angels, I was reminded of an experience I had a number of years ago. I was studying at a teachers college. All prospective teachers had to have a rescue-swimming certificate from the German Life Saving Association. It was necessary to pass an exam where we had to complete certain tests in the water to prove that we could rescue someone from drowning, if necessary. I had learned to swim quite late and felt completely overwhelmed. In the Christian Science Sunday School, however, I had learned that we could turn to God for help in any situation, and that with Him, nothing is impossible. We read in the Bible: “And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men, it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible” (Mark 10:27). When engaging in sports, it’s commonly assumed that one needs a strong body, extensive training, etc., to achieve particular results. I came to realize, however, that I am God’s spiritual idea. Because I am God’s idea, I reflect and express spiritual qualities, evidenced in joy, courage, energy, coordination. The source of these qualities is not me, but God. Therefore, I can do whatever is required of me. I also knew that spiritual ideas are what lead us to the goal we need to reach. God gives these to us gladly, because He is Love.
I called a Christian Science practitioner, too, and asked her for prayerful support. I also thought about the following sentence from Science and Health. It says, “Hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true, and you will bring these into your experience proportionably to their occupancy of your thoughts” (p, 261). During the exam I tried to hold fast to the truth about myself that as God’s spiritual idea I have everything I need.
The first tests—diving under water, towing a person back to safety, and using specific techniques to carry heavier objects under water—went quite well. But the last test, long-distance underwater swimming, proved to be a big challenge for me. I tried to swim the required distance under water over and over again. But each time, I came up out of the water just short of the goal, and I didn’t receive the credit for that test. It seemed utterly hopeless! Moreover, after many unsuccessful efforts to swim the full stretch, now I had a terrible headache. I knew I had only a few minutes left to finish this part of the exam.
Standing at the edge of the pool, completely exhausted and depressed, the thought came to me: “Give up. This is just too hard for you. You were never a good swimmer anyway.” Others must have noticed my dismay, because suddenly another student I had never known well was standing by me. He only said, “Yes, if you think you can’t do it, you won’t. You can’t have any negative thoughts.” His words of encouragement jolted me! What he said to me led me to think again of the words of spiritual guidance I had read in Science and Health and had been thinking about before the exam (see above).Without much hesitation, I dove into the water one last time, and to the great surprise of all who had seen my unsuccessful attempts, I was successful! Everyone was thrilled and applauded. And to my great joy, the terrible headache had disappeared completely.
We will do well to let God’s angel messages always lead us. Try it yourself sometime. These angels are closer than you think!
Helga Janesch, Berlin
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