For many years I suffered from the fear of lack. My discomfort did not depend upon the balance in our checkbook. Even when there was enough money and gracious comfort in our home, I still felt insecure.
It was easy for me to see why I felt as I did. As a child, my family had faced, among other problems, chronic lack of means and had become accustomed to feeling on the brink of disaster. There was always a reprieve, but seldom was there enough for more than the basic necessities.
So, as an adult, there were times when I was tempted to believe that life would be so simple if we were just rich! If one could think about something other than making it from paycheck to paycheck, how much more good could be accomplished! I could see the fallacy, though, of thinking that wealth was the solution, and I began to realize the value of turning to God in prayer for the solution.
The study of Christian Science awakened me to the many Biblical promises of God's love for all mankind and His ever-present care. The Psalmist voiced God's promise to Zion: ''I will abundantly bless her provision: I will satisfy her poor with bread.'' 1 And Christ Jesus gave us this assurance: ''I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.'' 2
Freedom from the fear of lack started to come as I considered Jesus' admonition ''Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.'' 3 I did not want to follow Jesus merely for the loaves and fishes, for material well-being, but for the blessed riches of his love.
A turning point came with a radical change in my husband's career. It was a way of greater service but required of us a drastic decrease in income. I needed to find a job to meet the remainder of our obligations. What could I do that would provide enough? And who would care for our two small children?
I reached out in prayer to God. I saw that materialism was at the root of the problem and that materialism has two faces. One side shows the accumulation of material objects, which claims to replace - in the heart of the beholder - spiritual ideas as true substance. But matter can never, ever satisfy the inner yearning for true good.
On the other side of the coin is abject want, the view of man as deprived of the good that is required for harmonious functioning.
But it is spiritually unsound to look at human lack and draw the conclusion that God's man, His spiritual likeness, doesn't have an abundance of true good. It is more productive to realize that man's life and well-being derive entirely from God, divine Love. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, says: ''God gives you His spiritual ideas, and in turn, they give you daily supplies. Never ask for to-morrow: it is enough that divine Love is an ever-present help; and if you wait, never doubting, you will have all you need every moment.'' 4
Neither the excess, moderation, nor lack of matter - of itself - can satisfy or deprive us. Spirit, God, sustains, enlivens, and enriches His creation without depletion or waste.
How can this truth be made practical? We need to begin to know ourselves to be spiritual, constantly provided for by God. And we gain this perception through communion with our Father-Mother God. The effect of such prayer is the elimination of error - anything that in form or expression contradicts the nature of God, good.
And so it was that I learned a little to put my hand in His with humble expectancy of good. I remembered a friend telling me, a year before, of a job opening in a field in which I was very interested but untrained. Listening to God's direction rather than human logic, I called the company, asked for the department manager, and was virtually hired over the telephone. They were waiting for someone like me whom they could teach!
My part-time work quickly yielded full-time earnings. The children were beautifully cared for, too. And while challenges continued, so did the blessings.
The necessity to live within our means and to find imaginative and satisfying ways to make ends meet is still with us. But I am no longer afraid of what the future holds.
Doubt and fear cannot take away the joy in daily living when we choose to glorify God in the good we do and express. DAILY BIBLE VERSE My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Phillippains 4:19