Archive for the ‘Renewal in the New Year’ Tag

Is God Real? Seek and Find   Leave a comment

Some thoughts on renewal in the New Year.

by Barbara Vining

I can tell you that God is real to me, and that I regularly experience God’s care—but that won’t be convincing to you until you yourself search for God, find Truth, and experience proof of God’s reality and care.

The major problem, through the ages, is that the human mind tries to find God within a material frame of reference. But the real God can’t be found that way any more than the real substance of good can be found that way. Good exists to be seen, loved, and expressed by anyone in spiritual qualities such as kindness, gentleness, purity, justice, and mercy. And it is universally available for everyone.

That’s one way I know God—as good itself, which is here and everywhere, even where evil claims to be the reality. Christ Jesus said we could find God as the actual and ever-present reality—the saving, healing, and redeeming power—by seeking God and loving God with all our heart (see Matthew 6:31–33 and Mark 12:30).

It’s natural to love good. So, perhaps a good starting point for a new year would be to look for God by nurturing within ourselves the goodness of pure, spiritual qualities, and by looking for opportunities to express these qualities. Everyone wants to see good expressed by others—and it’s heartening when we do. But sometimes finding expressions of good in human experience can be a really big challenge. That’s when we may be hard pressed to think of God, good, as real. But here’s a biblical promise that helps: “You will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13, New King James Version). With all our heart. Not halfheartedly, or with our eyes or our emotions or human will, and not out of fear, but with love.

It can help to start by searching for good in the ideas of goodness—the idea of justice, the idea of mercy, the idea of forgiveness, and so on—that you yearn to see expressed. These qualities are real. They have a creator, and they exist for you, and anyone, to love and express. I have found that in proportion as I love these qualities and strive to express them, I find God, good, to be real. And we all can set out on a heartfelt search for the unseen spiritual goodness that does exist in others, discern it, and love them on this basis. I’ve often been amazed and delighted when I’ve been cherishing the good discernible in another, and there is a spontaneous awakening within that one of an inherent goodness they previously had not felt or recognized. We can each love individuals this way day by day, in our home, our workplace or school, our community, and in our prayers for hungering human hearts throughout the world. 

This takes dedication, lots of it. But that’s how proof that God is real comes into human experience—in human needs being met, in hearts being comforted and encouraged, in physical healing, and in characters reformed. Mary Baker Eddy spoke from experience when she wrote in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, “The divine Principle of healing is proved in the personal experience of any sincere seeker of Truth” (p. x). God, good, is that Principle.

There is a lifetime of learning about God to be found in the Bible and in Science and Health: that God is Love, Spirit, Life, and Truth. That we are made in God’s image, spiritual and perfect. That we consist of beautiful qualities inherent in us as God’s reflection. And this learning and proof come to each “sincere seeker of Truth” through moment-by-moment, sincere seeking and finding.

Let’s start today, then, to seek God through our spiritual sense—through the constant, God-given ability we all have to be aware of and feel God’s presence and love. Where spiritual good seems absent in any instance, we can find it by knowing that it is present to be found right here and now. We don’t find spiritual good simply through observation of the physical world; nor can what the physical senses observe prevent us from finding divine good and seeing the power of God to improve what is seen and experienced. 

Jesus proved the presence and reality of God, good, right where evil was claiming reality in the form of sickness, sin, and even death. By knowing and loving the spiritual good that is always present, he healed the sick, redeemed the sinner, and raised the dead. That’s how he proved that God is real. And that’s how we can prove it.

So, look for good right where you are right now. Look for it with your heart—through genuine prayerful searching, and through discovering and loving the good that is discernible in others and in yourself. With sincere and persistent effort you will find it. And this will prove to you—and others—that God, good, not evil, truly is the living reality and power. And what a happy year that will be—one day at a time!

Click here to listen to this article by Barbara Vining or to read it directly from the December 19, 2019 Christian Science Sentinel.

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