Facing down fear for your financial future

A Christian Science perspective on daily life.

A young boy, not quite 4 years old, was packing for a week's visit to his grandmother's. He announced to his mother that he would be leaving "Beary" – a small black stuffed animal – behind because he was afraid of losing him. When his mother reassured him that his grandmother would look after everything, he insisted the bear would be safer at home. "Anyway," he said, "I'll have Grandma, and I always have God."

Adults may chuckle at this sweet sketch, but behind it is a very mature reckoning of what is worthy of one's deepest trust. It is good to be wise and take practical care of present resources, but it's even better to understand what is dependable, permanent, and durable.

Many are facing the need to remain calm and spiritually grounded in light of the recent bank failure in California, and the wildfire-like panic that follows such news. If thinking is not well anchored, a kind of mental contagion of fear can take over and multiply the effects of such a financial collapse.

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The Bible offers steady counsel and hope. In Psalms, it enlightens: "It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes," and, "Hope thou in God." (118:9; 42:5) And among Christ Jesus' teachings, there's this from Matthew: "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also" (6:19-21).

Refuge from fear and panic is found in God's gracious love and care. God does not fail, and His care never ends. God's children and their needs are not overlooked by God but taken care of by Him. Under pressure of any kind, God's love does not collapse. This comforting love is practical and present. It is discoverable right now, wherever you are, regardless of your financial status.

Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science, found God to be a practical help, her Provider, during times of financial need. She often turned to Him for stability and care during the years when she was without human supports or financial resources. She proved that turning to God is reliable and brings needed calm and aid. She wrote in a sermon in 1895, "Know, then, that you possess sovereign power to think and act rightly, and that nothing can dispossess you of this heritage and trespass on Love.… Our surety is in our confidence that we are indeed dwellers in Truth and Love, man's eternal mansion. Such a heavenly assurance ends all warfare, and bids tumult cease, for the good fight we have waged is over, and divine Love gives us the true sense of victory. 'They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of Thy house; and Thou shalt make them drink of the river of Thy pleasures' " ("Pulpit and Press," p. 3).

A young couple survived the pressures of financial collapse while the husband attended graduate school. Already in debt, they were facing his last term and a large tuition bill. They were completely out of funds. It looked as though he might not be able to finish the degree. They prayed to be free from fear and panic. They prayed to realize the care that they were looking for was already hovering right over them, and therefore they could feel assured and safe. Days passed, and the bill was nearly due, when they received a phone call informing them of an unexpected inheritance that would be immediately available to them. It covered the tuition bill with a few pennies to spare.

No circumstance is beyond God's help. God is an ever-present help. His might and gentle shoulder are there to lean upon when steadiness and courage are needed. There is, as the Bible states, "nothing too hard" for God (Jer. 32:17).

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