As the United States' banking and mortgage lending sectors confront mounting turmoil – and some countries face even greater economic challenges in the global economy – billions of people worldwide need financial stability and are hoping for it in the marketplace, as well.
Leaders and policymakers are coming together to seek answers as ordinary citizens search for ways to solve their personal financial problems. But people also are hungering for solutions that go deeper and wider – to correct, strengthen, and rejuvenate the whole mental atmosphere underlying our global economy.
At the same time, many are also praying for answers. We wholeheartedly join them in seeking God's wisdom. And we encourage everyone, in whatever ways may be consistent with their convictions, to seek that aid and wisdom that lie beyond human abilities.
When the ancient Middle East faced unforeseen economic turmoil from pending drought, the Bible patriarch Joseph saw that God would give "an answer of peace" to the leader of that era's regional economic superpower.
Why peace? Inward peace quiets thought and enables us to find the answers, security, and confidence that come from an unbreakable connection with the Divine. Joseph's trust in God's care calmed the mental waters in his day and led to wise food and trade policies. Egypt and the surrounding region didn't escape drought, but widespread starvation was averted.
Earlier as an international banker, and today as treasurer of the church that publishes this newspaper, Ned Odegaard finds a model for action in the Joseph story. Ned observes, in that case, the stockpiling of grain prevented people from panicking when drought struck, and concludes, "the story shows how God cares for humanity in ways that we're able to feel and see." (You can join a live chat on this subject with Mr. Odegaard via www.spirituality.com, Tuesday, July 22, beginning at 2:00 p.m. EDT.)
Perhaps today's need isn't for "another Joseph," but rather for freedom from debilitating fears and for a more general understanding of the same sustaining wisdom that Joseph turned to.
Describing her discovery of God's care in every realm of human need, Monitor founder Mary Baker Eddy wrote, "It became evident that the divine Mind alone must answer, and be found as the Life, or Principle, of all being; and that one must acquaint himself with God, if he would be at peace" (Retrospection and Introspection, p. 28).
God's answer of peace that brings solutions to present needs is as audible and as calming today as it was over 3,000 years ago.