AFTER the recent stock market plunge, some pointed to greed and fear as the emotions influencing the market's behavior. Greed and fear. Are these the motivators of society? Is our well-being grounded in a need to accumulate, in a desire for more that swells until it's deflated by panic?
Or is there another basis for our well-being, a foundation that rules out the chance of irremediable loss, a basis that is eternally substantial?
There is. It never lets us down. It is not subject to chance. It is eternal not cyclical, firm not fluctuating. It is the solid, spiritual, very real truth of man's being: that we are created and governed by God, inseparable from His unending goodness.
Because God is omnipotent, there is not, there cannot truly be, another power. We may feel victimized by fear or chance, by conditions apparently outside our control. But turning in prayer to the one God, to the one source of strength and wisdom, we can come to see, and increasingly prove, that there is no power outside of God that can be a controlling factor in our lives. God is the only power. And because His is the power and presence of all good, because His love is all-encompassing, we can resist the urge to fear we might not be cared for. The very basis of our being is the absolute fact that God, our Father-Mother, cares for us all.
The Bible is rich in examples of God's provision in the face of possible disaster. During the Exodus, for example, the children of Israel were given manna from heaven each day in the proportion it was needed.1 Centuries later, the prophet Elijah was led by God to stay with a woman who, during a great drought, had nothing left but ``an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse,'' which she was about to share with her son, that they ``may eat it, and die.'' Elijah asked that she feed him first. Willing to trust the prophet, to listen to God's direction, ``she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days. And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord, which he spake by Elijah.''2
Although the picture was bleak, although she had almost nothing left, this woman, trusting in God's word, experienced the fullness of His promise. Instead of deprivation, loss, death, she gained life and continued sustenance. The power of God to care for His children cannot, does not, fail.
When the Master, Christ Jesus, was confronted with a hillside of followers who were hungry after a day of listening, he defied the appearance of shortage. With only five loaves of bread and two fishes, Jesus gave thanks to God and fed the five thousand, who all ate ``and were filled.'' Afterward, ``they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full.''3 No appearance of limited supply could override Jesus' clear understanding of God's abundant provision for all.
These are not merely historical examples of a benevolent God, examples that have no relevance to the present. They are proof of the continuing, vital, living truth that God and man are forever inseparable. No matter what the circumstance, we need not fear we will be in want. There is an answer. And it is found, through prayer, in the spiritual reality of God's constant care for man, a reality that may seem dim to us, or even nonexistent, at the moment, but which nevertheless exists to be proved in our lives today.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes: ``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
This trust in and understanding of God's ever-abundant goodness -- this spiritual foundation -- is the only genuine, lasting basis of our supply. God's provision is ours right now, each moment of each day. And it is enough.
Though appearances would persuade us otherwise, we are not at the mercy of predictions or even of circumstances. We're under the wise and loving government of God. Opening our thought to that fact, trusting it, insisting on it in prayer, we'll find our needs cared for.
1See Exodus 16:11-18. 2I Kings 17:12, 15, 16. 3See Matthew 14:14-21. 4Miscellaneous Writings, p. 307.
You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19