While listening to the story of Saul’s conversion to the apostle Paul, I was struck by how God had taken over Saul’s life and put him on the inescapable path of being converted to Paul.
If you know the story (Acts 9), Saul is on the road to Damascus to persecute Christians. Christ intervenes and commands Saul’s attention through a great light from heaven and by speaking to him. Saul listens and asks, “Lord, what will you have me do?” Saul recognizes his blindness to God’s love up to this point, and when he opens his eyes he cannot see. He is led into Damascus by his assistants.
Meanwhile, God prepares the next step of Saul’s conversion. He speaks directly to Ananias in Damascus, who is a devout student of Christ, and tells him to preach Christ to Saul. He even tells Ananias the address in which Saul is staying. Ananias rebels because he is aware of Saul’s vicious terrorist reputation, but God assures him the contact will be okay. Ananias is obedient. Saul listens. Saul is converted, and Paul, the new man, becomes one of the greatest evangelists the world has ever known. And all because of what God did for Saul.
After thinking about how God had orchestrated Saul’s conversion to Paul from beginning to end, I began to wonder if God was at work in my life in the same way, moving me from Point A to Point B to Point C. Points that maybe I’m not aware of right now, but will be in the future when I have some hindsight?
I decided the answer was yes. And I believe the answer is yes for you too.
It’s because there is a law of inevitable good at work in our lives. It’s inevitable that everyone, one way or the other, discovers their true identity made in God’s likeness—healthy, whole, free and overflowing with love. It’s inevitable that all evil be overcome and God will keep busily at work in our lives to ensure the triumph of good over all bad. We must grow out of a limited material sense of life.
Either through suffering or Science, we learn the spiritual lessons we need to learn to advance and understand Life in Spirit.
As Mary Baker Eddy wrote, “Either here or hereafter, suffering or Science must destroy all illusions regarding life and mind, and regenerate material sense and self” (Science and Health, p. 296). Suffering does not have to be a bad thing when gleaned for spiritual merit.
As I look back over my life and study the times when I suffered, I see clearly that a spiritual lesson was being learned. I always came out of the experience a better person, more moral, more spiritually minded, and feeling closer to God. There was a purpose for the experience. I needed it to conquer some painful sin and advance spiritually.
And thus God’s law of progress marches on for each of us every day.
Every experience we have is for a purpose. There is some vital spiritual lesson being learned, and the sooner we learn it, the faster we progress. But no matter what, progress is inevitable! Good always overcomes evil one way or the other. Every child of God finds home in heaven. There is no other resting place.
So, I find great comfort in knowing God is at work in my life moving me to a better position in understanding and experience every day. Progress is unavoidable. Progress is inevitable. Progress is absolutely certain. There is no way to escape it.
To say God is orchestrating my life is not confining at all. It’s liberating. It means good is overcoming all evil to my sense of things, and I’m going to fully realize my undeniable perfection in God’s likeness. That’s an event I can happily embrace!