'WHEN someone wins the lottery or does well at a casino, how do you know that isn't God's doing?" my friend asked. I thought about the question for a minute. ``Because in order for that person to win, a lot of others have to lose." "And God doesn't work that way?" "No, God doesn't work that way."
When you consider Christ Jesus' example, it becomes apparent that the Master consistently knew what to expect and acted on it. When he and his apostle needed tax money, he told Peter to catch just one fish and open its mouth. There he would find a coin. Peter didn't catch a lot of fish in order to increase the odds!
God's Son didn't operate on the basis of chance. And his supply didn't come at the expense of someone else's. He proved good to be of God. Jesus was so close to God, so receptive to the divine Mind's direction, that he knew he could trust God to provide what he needed.
We, too, as God's own children, can draw close to Him and receive His constant provision. This requires our whole trust, however. Entering a sweepstakes or gambling costs us more than postage or a few dollars. We lose because we accept, even briefly, the notion that something other than God is the source of good. But the more we understand and trust God's constant, immeasurable love, the more it becomes a law to us. And the manner in which our needs are met will reflect more of the certainty and peace th at come from listening to God. The Psalmist praised God, saying: "The Lord is good to all . . . . Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing." God's omnipotent, open hand eliminates chance.
My father learned how important it is to be consistent in depending on God's law, not chance. He used to enter sweepstakes. One rainy night, a man stepped in front of my father's car and was hit. Although the fault was determined to be the pedestrian's, Dad felt terrible. He took an interest in the man's well-being and was grateful that he fully recovered.
In praying about the incident, however, my father made a connection. That a pedestrian should step in front of his car was considered to be a matter of chance. But Dad was learning of God's loving, intelligent control of His entire creation. Dad was studying the truths of God's law in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures." In this book, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes: "Accidents are unknown to God, or immortal Mind, and we must leave the mortal basis of
belief and unite with the one Mind, in order to change the notion of chance to the proper sense of God's unerring direction and thus bring out harmony."
My father realized that if he subjected himself to the influence of chance in one aspect of his life, he was accepting the effect of chance in other areas. If good can come by chance, so can harm and distress. What God gives, however, is permanent and always good. Dad wanted to be governed by God, not chance. His interest in sweepstakes ceased.
When we accept God as the source of all the good there is, we experience the reward of spiritual living and the enduring promises of the Bible. God is all-power. His infinitude shatters the notion of limited good. His impartial love for all condemns the belief that some must lose in order for others to win. The more we understand and trust God's divine law, the more this law will harmonize the events of our lives. Looking to God, infinite Love, brings good to everyone, all of the time.