by Annette Bridges. © 2006. All rights reserved.
The Bible in My life
How well I remember the Bible stores read to me as a child! Daniel in the lions’ den. Joseph with his coat of many colors. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the fiery furnace. David and Goliath. And many others.
Throughout my life, the Bible has been my life coach. If I need guidance of any kind, I know I can find it in the Scriptures. And Science and Health assures me that “the Bible contains the recipe for all healing” (p. 406). Again and again, I am finding this to be so.
Not long ago I learned a lesson from the account of Daniel’s interpretation of King Nebuchadnezzar’s dreams, in chapters one to four of the Old Testament book of Daniel. The king sought advice from magicians, astrologers, and sorcerers, about the significance of these dreams, but they gave him no satisfaction.
Eventually Daniel – who had prayed that the “wisdom and might” of God might be revealed to him –was brought to Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel offered an interpretation, but the king feared that the humility called for in Daniel’s response, which pointed to God’s supremacy, would threaten the “power, and strength, and glory” he had worked so hard to attain.
It was Nebuchadnezzar’s pride that caught my attention. At the time, I was working on a variety of projects. I enjoyed what I was doing, but I was feeling that I was the only person on the job who could accomplish the tasks efficiently. Many days, I felt burdened and overwhelmed. I should have asked for assistance from other members on my team, but I didn’t – mainly because I didn’t think anyone else could get the job done as well as I could.
Soon, I began to suffer from severe headaches. I couldn’t sleep at night, because I would lie in bed thinking about all that I had to get done the next day. Some nights I suffered constricting pains in my chest that were so severe I could hardly breathe.
It was during one of my sleepless nights that I reread that story about Nebuchadnezzar. Suddenly I realized that I was expressing a similar kind of puffed-up pride. I had been thinking my skills were indispensable and irreplaceable. Self-righteousness and self-justification controlled my reasoning and actions.
Then it struck me that it wasn’t until Nebuchadnezzar had humbled himself before God and learned to “praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth,” that his life was restored and renewed (Dan 4:37).
Reading about Nebuchadnezzar’s experience made me feel humble, too – even a bit ashamed of myself. I was reminded of Jesus’ words, “I can of my own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me” (John 5:30).
Gradually I came to think of the Bible’s characters as friends who shared not only their trials and challenges with me, but also their triumphs and the lessons they had learned. It was encouraging to know that others had walked down similar paths, surmounted roadblocks, and gotten back on track when spiritual insight called for a change in direction.
“Throughout my life, the Bible has been my life coach” H Mary Baker Eddy explained that we have the ability to improve our circumstances when she wrote, “If you believe in and practice wrong knowingly, you can at once change your course and do right” (Science and Health, p. 253). So that’s what I did. After praying to better understand God’s power and His government of our workplace, I became more of a team player – delegating tasks and sharing responsibilities. I stopped judging and criticizing others’ efforts. In fact, I gained an appreciation of my fellow co-workers and their talents that I didn’t have before.
I stopped taking myself so seriously, too. I started seeing my work in a new light, viewing it as an essential element in the business of glorifying God. Thinking with God. Seeing what God sees. Knowing what God knows. From that point on, work was handled so harmoniously that it was like watching musicians playing a symphony.
The headaches stopped, as well as the chest pains. There were no more sleepless nights. Joy and lightheartedness filled my days in the office. My Bible friends had helped to rescue me!