When financial push comes to shove
Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life
I was in a tough financial situation. I had recently become a mother and had started graduate school, and I hadn't planned out my finances for either expense. I saw that I wouldn't be able to pay the bills for the next month and that I was depending too heavily on my credit card for daily expenses.
When I asked my father for a loan, he was unwilling to give me what he saw as a handout. He thought I needed to find a solution on my own. While I was disappointed with this decision, it caused me to look deeper at my needs. Was more money really the answer?
Then I had a conversation with a friend that really got me to thinking. She and I wanted to know more about how we could not just cope with situations in our lives with positive thinking, but how we actually could transform those situations into something better.
At this time, I'd been hearing stories in popular culture of people feeling the presence of angels helping them. I found in the book "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," written by Mary Baker Eddy, this description of angels: "God's thoughts passing to man; spiritual intuitions, pure and perfect; the inspiration of goodness, purity, and immortality, counteracting all evil, sensuality, and mortality" (page 581).
I wondered what God was saying to me about finances. What thought could He be sending me that would counteract my bad financial situation and replace it with balance and adequate supply?
Another passage I studied by the same author was this: "The Psalmist saith: 'He shall give His angels charge over thee.' 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. What a glorious inheritance is given to us through the understanding of omnipresent Love!" ("Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896," pages 306-307).
I understood that God's thoughts, and not the state of my bank account, were the authority of my situation. I didn't yet feel the joy of the "glorious inheritance," but I knew I could focus on the needs of today and not be concerned about tomorrow.
Whenever a tough situation arises, we have the right to ask what our angels are saying to us about it. Just being curious about God's plan for us helps to cut through dead-end thinking and brings greater peace.
When a bank account or a food pantry is empty or one's prospects for companionship or employment look grim, how can the inspiration of goodness be enough to fill the void? Committing our needs to God takes the burden of supply off our shoulders. The solution doesn't depend on our ability to think the right thoughts or find the right answer. There is enough wisdom in the universe to solve every problem, and our prayers help clear our thought to be open to how God is communicating the next step.
When we believe that the origin of life is material, there will always be a shortage of something. But if the origin of life is spiritual, as I believe it is, then needs are met from a spiritual source that cannot run out. And being curious about what God is speaking to us is a way of aligning ourselves with the good in the universe in a way that has to bless us.
My financial solution came in the form of an extra loan for school. Then, right after I finished my studies, I was unexpectedly offered a job in a nearby city. Even though I stayed in that job only a year and a half before deciding to work independently from home, I had earned enough money to pay back the extra loan as well as pay down my other loans to a point that was manageable. I was also able to make a down payment on my first home.
This experience helped me see the answer to my friend's and my question: Positive thinking helps us cope with tough situations. But setting aside our own will in order to understand more about what God is telling us - opening up to our angels, or spiritual intuitions - will transform our situation from one of lack or shortage to one of balance, peace, and abundance.
The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.