by Haley Chichester
Even though I spent my whole childhood traveling around the world, the first time I found myself without my parents or sisters on a flight back home, I was nervous. Knowing my parents or sisters were traveling with me had been an unspoken comfort, and without them, I realized how reliant I was on their physical presence for a sense of comfort and safety.
Before boarding my flight, I quietly perused the My Bible Lesson of that week, searching for a ‘golden nugget’ of inspiration to hold on to in hopes of easing my nerves. (Something I learned while attending Cedars Camps as a camper in my younger years!) I couldn’t tell you what the theme of that lesson was, but the quote I held on to has been a comfort ever since. “Step by step will those who trust Him find that ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.'” (Science and Health 444:10-12)
As I settled into my seat, I closed my eyes and affirmed that simple truth of God’s protection. And I know now that I was never in any amount of trouble to begin with, but that automatic trust has healed my nerves of flying alone. Every flight since, I find myself saying that same prayer – but not because I’m afraid or nervous. It’s an affirmation of protection for myself, those on my flight, those on other flights, and those in the world. A universal prayer that has become more relevant today, than ever before.
Not a day goes by that we don’t see some tragedy on the news, all over the world – another terrorist attack; another innocent death; another child in pain. But the incredible Truth has taught us that is not our world. Mary Baker Eddy, discoverer and founder of Christian Science, says, “How blessed it is to think of you as ‘beneath the shadow of a great rock in a weary land,’ safe in His strength, building on His foundation, and covered from the devourer by divine protection and affection. Always bear in mind that His presence, power, and peace meet all human needs and reflect all bliss.” (Miscellaneous Writings 263:8-14)
We can recognize, in unified understanding, that the world is not victim to error’s seeming truths. The material picture is not an accurate representation of that very same presence, peace, and power that Mrs. Eddy writes about.
One of the greatest things about technology is the immediacy of worldwide information. My smartphone is constantly blowing up with notifications from various media outlets to update me on popular trends, scientific discoveries, political agendas, international affairs, technological advances, and so much more. The wealth of daily news can be overwhelming, and more often than not, it’s content is negative. When I receive any notification – whether positive or negative – I take a few silent moments to both respond prayerfully, and to give gratitude for God’s protection.
In the preface of her book Science and Health, with Key to the Scriptures, Mrs. Eddy writes, “[God’s works] are the sign of Immanuel, or ‘God with us,’ – a divine influence ever present in human consciousness…” (Science and Health xi:15-17) Though I’d read this passage before, the words flew off the page and ingrained themselves into my memory. By simply uttering “Immanuel”, you are affirming that God IS with us – with ALL of us! I will continue to give gratitude for God’s protection, but now I’ve added the simple utterance of “Immanuel” as an extension of prayer.
How are you praying for the world? I welcome you to share your own thoughts, inspirations, prayers, and comments below; on our facebook page; or by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Grateful for all universal prayer, and protection!
Haley Chichester is from Ashland, Oregon, and currently works in the Development Office at Broadview. She is a world traveler; lover of vanilla ice cream and Italian gelato; and enjoys all creative activities – i.e. designing, reading, painting, photography, fashion.