Returning home after a period of military service, a former soldier was glad to find some part-time work (a delivery job, working with a carpenter, tutoring grade-school children, etc.). But he needed a full-time paying job and wanted to feel productive.
Turning to God in prayer late one evening, he reached out for a better understanding of his relationship to Him. Through his study of Christian Science, he knew that his nature was spiritual and that he was an idea in the divine Mind and cared for by Mind. Even though it was a struggle, he lifted his thought above the obvious human situation – no good job prospects, very little cash, no credit cards, and a slow economy. In prayer he turned away from those discouraging signs and toward the spiritual reality that he knew was true.
The idea that came very clearly was that man is God's spiritual idea (which is the real identity of all men and women) and is always employed. God, the divine Creator, is always employing man to express Him. Therefore man as God's idea is never unemployed. Through this insight, his concern and fear instantly vanished. It was so comforting and reassuring to realize that each of God's children is fully employed because each one expresses God. And it was true right then and there, in spite of the dire human circumstances.
Weeks earlier, he had submitted job applications and résumés to several organizations, but hadn't had any responses. However, that very evening at about 10:30, the phone rang. It was the local grade-school secretary. She apologized profusely for calling so late. She told him that a school teacher had called to say she couldn't come in the next day, and the secretary asked if there was any chance he might be able to be there the next morning. He could hardly believe such a rapid result from his prayers. Of course, he said yes.
Very soon after that, he had a number of job offers: bank examiner, school teacher, carpenter's apprentice. He accepted a job as assistant manager of a nursing home where he was able to use his hotel-management training. Since those days, he has never been unemployed.
For each individual who prays, the solution might be quite different. But turning toward the infinite love of God and His care for all His children releases us from limitations and shows us the way to progress.
The Bible gives some good examples of how people have turned away from bleak conditions that were staring them in the face, and have looked up and outward to recognize God's ever-present goodness.
One classic example is the way God cared for the children of Israel during their endurance trek from slavery in Egypt to the Promised Land. They found manna on the ground in the morning and quail in the evening, as well as water flowing from the very rocks they were traversing (see Exodus 16 and 17). And the prophet Elisha, when surrounded by the enemy, prayed that his servant's eyes would be opened so he could see the "horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha" protecting them (see II Kings 6).
To the degree that we accept God's goodness as always present, always at hand, we open our thought to that goodness, whether the need is for income, employment, or spiritual regeneration and growth. It doesn't matter if the possibilities for full employment are scarce and limited. Each of us can turn to, and access, the nurturing power of infinite Love and the goodness of God, and experience it for ourselves.
Opportunities for being of service and finding employment are always available to the degree that we accept the fact that man, as God's reflection and manifestation, is always fully employed in expressing Him. This fact is not merely theoretical. It's practical and can be experienced here and now because God's fullness is always at hand.