MANY people are facing economic hardship these days. And they are calling for help. Often sources such as government agencies, family, friends, can give needed aid. But where can we turn when these are not available or when more help is needed? I have found that God has been an immediate source of help. Let me explain.
Money was sparse for my wife and me. During this time her job was being discontinued. She would be without work and therefore without pay. We were more than a little concerned. But we felt certain that God would help us in this situation. The reason we had come to feel this way wasn't just optimism or human faith.
There are many places in the Bible where we read about how God meets the needs of people. For instance, when Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt, they wondered how they would survive in the wilderness where they found themselves. There's a place in the book of Psalms that talks about what the Israelites were feeling; it says, "They spake against God; they said, Can God furnish a table in the wilderness? God answered by giving them sufficient food each day.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes of this incident in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. She says: "There is to-day danger of repeating the offence of the Jews by limiting the Holy One of Israel and asking: 'Can God furnish a table in the wilderness?' What cannot God do?
This made me think. Christ Jesus had fed a multitude of over five thousand with only a few loaves of bread and a few fish. But how was this possible?
We might agree that God is infinite. Christian Science teaches that this infinitude, or allness, precludes anything that would be contrary to God's perfect, spiritual, divinely loving nature. All things that truly exist are reflections--expressions--of God.
As I thought about this, I pictured it this way: a mirror, if undistorted, gives an exact image of what is in front of it. So, because creation is the reflection, or expression, of God, true creation reflects all that God is. Since God is perfect, His creation--man and the universe--must be perfect. It is not possible for God to lack anything, and God's image, man, cannot truly lack anything either.
Then what is it that makes lack seem so evident? Is it a distorted image that the limited carnal, or human, mind represents as creation? This perspective would make us fear that God is not real, or that He is far removed from everyday experience. That He sometimes responds to our pleas and sometimes doesn't.
But man is not separated from God. Man, in his true being, is the idea of the one Mind, God. This spiritual idea cannot be separated from God. Isn't it man's inseparability and present perfection as God's image that Jesus was showing us when he healed people?
The Israelites, relying on what the limited, physical senses were reporting, couldn't see how God could meet their need. They were, in effect, restricting God, thinking He had power to meet only some of their needs. But the truth is that since God is not limited, man cannot lack anything. Even a beginning perceptive understanding of this truth starts to bring our experience into accord with the divine reality. We don't need to change a deprived material circumstance into a better material circumstance, s o much as we need to give up to some degree the material view for the spiritual reality God is revealing--one in which God is all Love and ever present.
As my wife and I recognized that our true needs were met by an infinite source, we became more receptive to the many ways God was already meeting our need. People who did not know of the situation, for example, brought food with them when visiting. Friends gave us clothes. We were given unexpected opportunities to earn extra money.
I came home from work one day to find a tax refund check sitting on my desk. It was for a bit over what my wife would have made during the two weeks she had been without work. Shortly after this, my wife and I were offered, and we accepted, new jobs. Indeed, God had met our need more abundantly than we could have imagined. This experience has made us feel not merely personal contentment, but also a commitment to expanding our lives and thought even further. Surely this will nurture greater love for God a nd our fellowman, and show us new ways to help relate the spiritual love of God to others' needs. God's love and goodness are universal, and we're beginning to see what this can mean for all people.
Praise waiteth for thee, O God . . . .
Thou visitest the earth,
and waterest it:
thou greatly enrichest it
with the river of God,
which is full of water:
thou preparest them corn,
when thou hast so provided for it.
Thou waterest the ridges thereof abundantly:
thou settlest the furrows thereof:
thou makest it soft with showers:
thou blessest the springing thereof.
Thou crownest the year with thy goodness;
and thy paths drop fatness.
They drop upon the pastures
of the wilderness:
and the little hills rejoice on every side.
Psalms 65:1, 9-12