By Abigail Mackay
From the Christian Science Sentinel - February 10, 2009
Originally appeared on spirituality.com
Giant bush fires have raged through much of the state of Victoria, in the southeast corner of the Australian continent. Emergency crews and firefighters have been on the scene for days battling extreme heat and hot north winds. These winds drive the fires at high speed through the tinder dry bushland taking people’s lives and destroying homes and wildlife. Thankfully, temperatures have cooled over the past few days and some fires are being contained.
Giving in to shock and despair, or feeling helpless, can be hard to resist in situations like this. But there is something we can each do to bring calm and comfort to all those affected or threatened by the fires burning out of control.
It begins with turning resolutely and quietly to God, the Principle of all life. Much like the flames sweeping over the landscape, fear and anger can ignite and ravage our normal trust in God’s goodness and presence. So it’s helpful to take a moment and ask, Can fire truly destroy God’s creation? When we consider the Bible’s message in the first chapter of Genesis, that creation is in fact spiritual, and therefore constantly intact, we can help bring clarity and control to situations which appear frightening and unmerciful. We can reassure ourselves and others that no place, thing, or thought can ever get outside the comfort and stability that are natural to existence. We can calm our own fears of danger and any angry, resentful thoughts, on the basis of recognizing that the nature of God as Love is always present. This divine Love has genuine, enduring power over us and everyone.
Police investigations in Victoria have indicated that some of the biggest fires were the result of arson. In order to deal with the indignation we may feel at such a senseless crime, it’s helpful and healing to get an understanding of the spiritual fact that only motives which express good have spiritual power behind them. To get at the healing law, we need to look behind the material evidence of destruction, to perceive the divine law which transforms that troubling picture according to eternal laws of Life and Truth. These laws are dynamically effective and can produce only good.
Actively contemplating the fact that God’s children live in the atmosphere of Love counteracts both fear and hatred. Spiritual law is restorative, life-giving, irresistible, and constructive. It opens thought to the activity of Spirit producing good results at all times, which includes quenching evil in any circumstance. Raging fires deliberately lit to cause widespread devastation suggest that people are motivated by, and vulnerable to, malicious intentions. But we have a spiritual means of defense. We utilize this spiritual defense by countering inharmony of any kind in our prayers with the spiritual law of the divine power of good over evil. God empowers this law.
Anyone can help defend the people of Victoria, their homes, and the beautiful countryside by mentally protesting that no place is outside the presence of Life, God, and the life that expresses God can never be interrupted or attacked. It is always maintained and sustained by His Love and constancy. In her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy explains that, “God never ordained a material law to annul the spiritual law.”
Every spiritual healing proves that spiritual ideas supersede the boasts of matter when held fully and firmly in our hearts. When one overcomes fear, one also overcomes the product of fear. The same is true for hatred or selfishness or any situation in which we conquer our doubt that good has authority over evil. Maintaining clarity about the laws of God enables us to experience the calm and power of divine laws. As God’s laws, they are always present and only need our understanding of them for us to benefit from their goodness and power in our lives.
God’s law, His rule, is present right where the flames and winds and chaos are raging wildly. They act like the “still small voice” to calm fires and fears, and to comfort those suffering loss with the knowledge that Love can always find a way to bring peace and hope to the human heart, even in the midst of grief. Jesus’ promise, “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted,” is no hollow optimism. It is the law of Love, whose power is unopposable. And prayers of allegiance to this spiritual law enable each heart in need of comfort to feel that divine embrace, assuring them that life and goodness are safe with God.
Peace and comfort:
Science and Health
King James Bible
Abigail Mackay is a practitioner and teacher of Christian Science from Melbourne, Australia.