God and our needs

A HOME; people we love and who love us; self-expression; self-support; health--our needs sometimes seem endless. No sooner is one met than another appears. Yet the Bible assures us, ``Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.'' 1 When I learned, as a child, that God cares for our needs, I conjectured that He must be a benevolent superperson who keeps a list of the earthly necessities of myself and others. That was comforting. But I also knew of several needs in my own life not yet met, and I suspected that I could find more in the larger world. I was even afraid that if I found enough unmet needs, I would have proved that God didn't exist. One day a woman, well-loved in our community, told me of her gratitude to God. She mentioned that the setting sun had rested recently on several words of an inscription within her church:``always . . .always . . . every . . . need.'' This had emblazoned on her thought the completeness with which God had in fact met her needs. (The entire sentence, by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, is ``Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need.'' 2) Her conviction and her whole life, which overflowed with affection, creativity, and service to others, made me suddenly aware that my concept of God's care had been a pale imitation of the real thing. My imagined deity who fills human wish-lists did not exist. But neither did the mortal with unending needs, as I had identified myself. I saw that my actual selfhood was immortal, satisfied in every way, expressing the nature of my creator. Man, of whom we read in the first chapter of Genesis, is made in God's image. And he does not barely subsist by pleading for favors from his creator. He is complete, endlessly manifesting the spiritual graces flowing forth from Love, his divine source. He represents the real, spiritual creation, which is prolific in light and goodness, expressing God's plenitude. In stark contrast, the mortal creature, graphically set forth in the second, allegorical account of creation, consists entirely of needs. In need of wisdom, food, and pleasure, Adam and Eve seek satisfaction in the fruit. Soon, needing clothing, they hide in fear and shame. At length they are made aware that their lives will never be completely free from needs, even if they endlessly till the soil. In this portrayal of life in matter, only sorrow multiplies. But this is not the truth of man. Even today, when it may appear that funds are short, the children need shoes, and we could use a friend, the fact is that God is pouring forth everything we need. He is maintaining what we really are: the spiritual likeness of abundant, undepleted Love. As we turn away from false premises of life in matter--for example, from the conviction that shortages are inevitable or that discord is inescapable--and realize in prayer who we really are and what God is always doing for man, we'll witness the appearing, in tangible form, of the spiritual amplitude that is inherently ours. Christ Jesus was able to lift others out of neediness so consistently because he knew precisely the nature of God and man. Early in his career, hungry from a long wilderness fast, he found himself faced with temptation: if he was in fact God's Son, why not use divine power to make bread from a stone? He rejected the concept that matter is the sustainer of life. Supported by God's Word, he asserted his spiritual sonship.3 We have no further record of his going hungry, but we have abundant evidence that he released humanity from hunger, disease, and other needs predicated on the belief of life in matter. And in the resurrection, he fully illustrated that in no way is matter the substance of life. We can have the same assurance that God meets our needs. Even while we turn to Him out of human need, the innate spiritual sense within us gently whispers that our loving Father, in His perfect comprehension of our real being, has already met our need. 1 Matthew 6:8. 2 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 494. 3 See Matthew 4:1-4.

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