As I prepare to start reading and studying this week's Bible Lesson, Adam and Fallen Man, I am struck by the question in the Golden Text. Where art thou? God is supposedly asking Adam that question in the second account of creation. In that account God has created man out of the dust of the ground. Adam and Eve have committed the first sin by disobeying and yielded to the first temptation, eating forbidden fruit. Now they are hiding from God, naked and ashamed.
That question arises through most of the stories in the Scriptures. God seems to be asking Where do you think you are? and even Where do you think I am?
Are you being asked to make the ultimate sacrifice of what you love most? Are you up against a seemingly impassable barrier, hotly pursued by the enemy? Are you trying to break down strong walls? Are you in the lions' den, apparently defenseless? In a fiery furnace of criticism? Hiding deep in deep in a cave? On the cross?
Several things come to mind. Mrs. Eddy's hymn 160, which begins It matters not what be thy lot, so Love doth guide; for storm or shine pure peace is thine, whate'er betide. A very timely promise with the storm battering the east coast today.
I also look to two passages in First Church of Christ, Scientist and Miscellany. From an address Mrs. Eddy gave in 1899: "Beloved, that which purifies the affections also strengthens them, removes fears, subdues sin, and endues with divine power; that which refines character at the same time. humbles, exalts, and commands a man, and obedience gives him courage, devotion, and attainment (p. 131)." And another personal favorite found on page 149-150: "Remember, thou canst be brought into no condition, be it ever so severe, where Love has not been before thee and where its tender message is not awaiting thee, therefore, despair not not murmur, for that which seeketh to save, to heal, and to deliver, will guide thee, if thou seekest this guidance."
So where I am today? As I go about the usual Monday errands I can know that I am in the secret place of the Most High, as it describes that in Psalm 91. I can know I am accompanied by angels given the specific task to watch over me all day and into the night. No matter what the human experience is showing me, I can look up, lift my thought and see God's loving hand comforting, guiding, and tenderly leading me. That's where I am. That's where I will always be. And that is true for everyone.