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Living and Growing: Spending time with God and knowing him better

Posted: Friday, March 10, 2006

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Jogging up Basin Road one rainy autumn afternoon, I was having a pretty one-way conversation with God.

I was telling him I needed a job, that I had sent out lots of applications during the summer, that I had experience as a teacher, and that I knew I could do a good job if only I had the opportunity to show it. The first of September, I had moved to Juneau; now it was late in the month, and I was discouraged because I had not gotten a teaching position. I even told God I would be willing to take another type of job if that's where he wanted me to be. Finally I concluded by asking, "Father, what should I be doing, or what do I need to know?"

I was a bit surprised when the answer came so quickly and clearly, "Be grateful for the time to get to know me better." It sounded almost as though a person had spoken to me. I am glad I was listening, and I obeyed! First, my fear of not being employed was allayed as I put my trust in God, and I thanked him for giving me direction. Second, I spent less time frantically checking the want ads and more time studying the Bible and a companion book I find helpful, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy. The understanding of God I gained from these books assured me that God is divine love and that he is governing every aspect of my life.

The following Sunday I heard this verse in church, "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him" (I Corinthians 2:9). I felt this was a special promise for me and that whatever God had in store for me would be so much better than I could ever outline.

Science and Health explains that, "Desire is prayer; and no loss can occur from trusting God with our desires, that they may be moulded and exalted before they take form in words and in deeds." I wanted to be where God wanted me to be, and to use the talents God had given me to bless others. In this regard, I found the experience of Paul as related in Acts 9:26-28 instructive. After his conversion to Christianity in Damascus, Paul was eager to join the other disciples in Jerusalem. However, because of his reputation as a persecutor of Christians, the disciples were reluctant to accept Paul as one of them. But nothing could prevent the fulfillment of Paul's new holy purpose, and within a short time Barnabas provided the introduction that Paul needed.

I realized that, as in Paul's case, the purpose God had for me had to be fulfilled. No circumstance could prevent me from using my talents and glorifying God. My anxiety about a job was replaced by a joyful expectation to see what would come about.

Within a few days I was called for an interview and subsequently hired. There was overcrowding at Floyd Dryden, and they needed someone with just my qualifications. I spent many years teaching there and loved it.

Although I have never again heard God "speak" to me as I did that day on Basin Road, I am confident that I hear God daily as I study the promises in the Bible and the inspiring words from Science and Health. As I learn to know God better, I am grateful that this understanding is demonstrated both in healing and increased harmony in my experience. I am sure his plan for me is good. I love these words from Proverbs: "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths" (Prov. 3:5, 6).

• Beverly Smith is a member of First Church of Christ, Scientist in Juneau.



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