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Of Good Report

Floodwaters dispersed

From the January 2020 issue of The Christian Science Journal

About three years ago, my parents gave me a call with some very grave news: Their house was about to be flooded. They told me that they were praying diligently and had enlisted the support of a Christian Science practitioner, and that my sister was also praying about this issue. They asked me to join the family in prayer.

Let me provide a little context. In 2011, my parents bought a house next to a river in Charles City, Iowa. It was a beautiful home, but it had been flooded in 2008, so it was in fairly poor condition when they purchased it. Over the next few years, my parents worked on restoring the home to its former appearance, and it became a favorite place for our family to spend time together. 

I started by mentally affirming the supremacy of God and acknowledging that His infinite power knows no opposite.

My family and I had about a 24-hour advance notice on the potential flood. The predicted rise in water level would ruin the walls and insulation, damage the furniture, and bring mud into the house. The impact on the surrounding community would be even worse; during the last flood like this, entire homes and businesses were destroyed. 

When my parents called me, I was taking Primary class instruction in Christian Science. Primary class is a 12-session course offered by authorized teachers of Christian Science. During the sessions pupils are taught the spiritual truths of Christian Science as laid out in the chapter “Recapitulation” in the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. Essential to this teaching is the explanation of how Christ Jesus healed others through his prayers—and how we can follow his example and demonstrate the power of prayer through healing. My parents had called me at a perfect time; I was ready to put into practice the powerful truths I had been learning. 

I sat down in my room and began to pray. Throughout the Bible we read about God as the only creator, the only cause and power, so I started by mentally affirming the supremacy of God and acknowledging that His infinite power knows no opposite. I was immediately comforted by this acknowledgment, and my fear about the situation began to abate. By handling fear, I was also setting myself up to discern more clearly what was really true. 

I then focused my attention on reasoning from the standpoint that God and His creation are all that truly exist. If God is good, I reasoned, then everything He creates must be good. This flood was very clearly not good for my family or for our community, and so it was not something He could create or cause to occur. And if God didn’t create this flood, then it didn’t have the power to be destructive or harmful.

As I prayed about this issue and studied the Bible and Science and Health, this passage stood out to me: “There is no vapid fury of mortal mind—expressed in earthquake, wind, wave, lightning, fire, bestial ferocity—and this so-called mind is self-destroyed. The manifestations of evil, which counterfeit divine justice, are called in the Scriptures, ‘The anger of the Lord.’ In reality, they show the self-destruction of error or matter and point to matter’s opposite, the strength and permanency of Spirit. Christian Science brings to light Truth and its supremacy, universal harmony, the entireness of God, good, and the nothingness of evil” (Science and Health, p. 293). 

In Christian Science we learn that because God, good, is all-powerful, evil must be nothing, unreal. This scientific fact was proven time and time again by Christ Jesus; his healing works proved that anything appearing as evil, dangerous, even disastrous, could not be the product of God. It’s only the belief in or fear of evil, the belief that some other power can wreak havoc in our lives, that seems to give evil reality. 

While we might feel fearful in the face of dire predictions or threats to our safety and well-being, we can counter this feeling with the understanding that “God is love” (I John 4:16). As I had been learning during Christian Science class instruction, divine Love does not abandon us in times of trouble. God, Love, is always with us, protecting us and guiding our prayers, showing us the good that He is perpetually bringing about in our lives. Love precludes the existence of disaster. 

Divine Love does not abandon us in times of trouble.

This reasoning was an enormous comfort to me as I prayed about the flood. By addressing my fear of the situation, my prayer led me to a deep trust, grounded in reason and logic discerned from my study of the Bible and the Christian Science textbook, that God was protecting my family and our home, as well as our community.

We prayed throughout the day and night. After my class session the next day had ended, I gave my parents a call to get an update. They gave me the good news—the water level had significantly gone down several miles up and down the river. The local experts had expected the water levels to rise about 25 feet higher than usual across a river about as wide as a football field. Instead, the eventual high water level was short of their predictions by 4 feet, sparing not only our house, but the houses of all of our neighbors and of the towns down along the rest of the river. I am convinced that it was through prayer (ours and the prayers of others), and an understanding of the true nature of God and His creation, that this potential crisis was averted, and that my family, friends, and community were saved from the havoc the flood would have caused.

A few months later, I shared this testimony during a Wednesday evening testimony meeting at my local branch Church of Christ, Scientist. One of my fellow members came up to me afterward and mentioned how he had been following the floods, as they might have had an effect on his home state of Wisconsin. He had seen the forecast and predictions for how the flood was supposed to affect the area around the river. However, when he saw that the water level had been substantially lower than predicted, he surmised that there must have been Christian Scientists involved, praying to resolve the issue. My testimony was confirmation of that assumption on his part.

Our gratitude for the protection of our home and community was immense. Christian Science has blessed my life in a multitude of ways, and it is a privilege to share this particular blessing in the periodicals.

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