I have a neighbor who has lived in Iran most of her life. Visiting with her a few months ago, I learned something about how people celebrate the new year in that country. She said the celebration starts in the spring and lasts for two weeks. Kitchen tables in the home have certain items on them during this celebration that symbolize things to be grateful for. The most fascinating items to me were little trays of sprouted wheat. The wheat was still green and looked like grass. I asked my neighbor what these trays of wheat represented. She answered, "Abundance."
I thought about how the teachings of Christian Science stress the importance of gratitude, as well as what is to be considered true abundance. Often abundance is measured by material possessions: homes, cars, clothes, jewelry, etc. Christian Science explains abundance to be the possession of spiritual qualities, which each individual reflects in infinite number from God. God is Spirit, and therefore we are of Him-spiritual. Because of this fact, we receive abundantly everything of substance from God, such as joy, intelligence, love, courage, patience, beauty, honesty.
Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures is a book by the Discoverer of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy. Early on in the first chapter are these remarks: "Are we really grateful for the good already received? Then we shall avail ourselves of the blessings we have, and thus be fitted to receive more. Gratitude is much more than a verbal expression of thanks. Action expresses more gratitude than speech" (p. 3).
According to the Bible, Christ Jesus proved this to be true when he supplied thousands of people with food where barely any food existed. He took what he did have-a little bread and a few fish-and prayed to God. The book of Matthew says, "Looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full" (14:19, 20).
I asked myself how Jesus could give blessing and be grateful as though he had abundance, when really he had five thousand mouths to feed and next to no food. Well, Jesus indicated that needful things come from God, from Spirit. He showed that good could not be scarce, because God has no limitations. He trusted God to care for all those people.
Following that example, my husband and I were able to give gratitude to God and find that good comes from Him alone. This was at a time when it looked like my husband might soon have no job. He was a personnel manager for a company that was soon to close one of its key operations. He was offered two other jobs, both with less responsibility than his current position. He had to make a choice in two weeks.
We prayed, but we did not ask God for more money or a better offer; we prayed to be where my husband could best serve God-where we could express love, intelligence, and honesty. We considered the abundance of spiritual qualities available to him to express. The two weeks were almost up when my husband received a call offering him a new position that was a promotion for him. He's now been in it for over nine years.
It is possible to celebrate abundance now, because spiritual qualities are in your possession right now-from God. When you feel God's love toward someone, this is cause to celebrate. When you feel God's intelligence leading you at work or at home, this is cause to celebrate. When you feel joy, which is spiritual and comes from God alone, you are in possession of what God gives freely. Rejoicing is your abundance. Gratitude expresses your unity with God!
He will cause to come down
for you the rain, the former rain,
and the latter rain
in the first month.
And the floors shall be
full of wheat.
Joel 2:23, 24