If you're facing a crisis

A Christian Science perspective.

The word "crisis" has been popping up every day in the media in connection with the economy. The world seems to be at an economic crossroads, individually and globally.

Although fear and desperation seem to partner in a crisis, the word actually comes from the Greek word krinein, meaning "to decide." Prayer to a God whose mercy and tender strength are unchanging and ever-present can help us take a stand fearlessly. We can decide for the goodness and progress that is constantly pouring forth from God.

No matter what the circumstances look like, I am learning that I can pause to pray with my whole heart and ask God to show me what choices to make regarding my harmony and stability. What looks like danger can become a turning point for something better. As we pray, crucial times in life can help us rise to new strength, fortitude, and vision. These qualities come from God, Love, who has created man – meaning men and women – in His image and likeness. The more I understand that divine Love is the victor in every situation, the more clearly I see that under His care, I also am victorious and not a victim, even if the market is in continual flux.

The Bible is full of crisis situations in which individuals triumphed. These were people who seized the moment to feel God's presence, power, and care by putting themselves under God's law, which impels action for good.

Joseph, for example, faced one crisis situation after another. He was sold into slavery and later thrown into prison because of another's indiscretion and deception. Despite what could have been very discouraging conditions, Joseph's trust in God enabled him to rise to these occasions. And people recognized something special in him. As the Bible puts it, Joseph was "a goodly person, and well favoured" (Gen. 39:6). Even when he was in prison, he was put in charge of the other prisoners.

It was evident that Joseph's love for God was unchanging in the midst of adversity. It was a love that identified God as the supreme power. When asked to interpret one of Pharaoh's dreams, he acknowledged, "It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace" (Gen. 41:16).

Joseph's interpretation foresaw seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine in Egypt. Because of his insight and wisdom, Pharaoh put him in charge of all the land. During the seven years of plenty, Joseph directed the Egyptians to store goods in preparation for the future. His spiritual leadership prepared Egypt for the crisis, and it was even able to assist the surrounding countries.

God is always with us. As the Bible says, "Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision" (Joel 3:14). A few verses later it reads, "The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the Lord will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel."

We don't know exactly how any economic situation will turn around, but we can gain confidence in the power of God's love when we commit to reasoning that arrives at spiritual conclusions through prayer. Following the line of thought that Love is the Creator of all and has created only good reveals that in Love there also is no threat of loss or failure, no victims or those who prey on others, no wrong path that can make everything collapse.

Divine Love is never at a crisis point; God's creation is never at a crossroads of good or evil. God and creation have always been and always will be one, and always good. The prayer to recognize this inspires intelligent ideas and plans for solutions. It supports governments, countries, and individuals so they can consistently make better decisions about cutting back or spending for the benefit of everyone.

Mary Baker Eddy, who founded Christian Science as well as this newspaper, wrote in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," "Your decisions will master you, whichever direction they take¨ (p. 392). A spiritual direction of thought starts the victory and brings positive outcomes. Does this moment feel crucial to you? Trust God, and decide for God's irresistible law of good. It's sure to meet the human need.

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