Finding a fresh start after job loss

A Christian Science perspective.

Several friends and family members who should be in their mid-career stride have recently found themselves downsized and out of work. They join many more who, through no fault of their own, are suddenly turned out on the street as companies downsize or change direction. While those firing them almost always say something like, “This isn’t personal,” and may genuinely mean it, losing one’s job is still a shock. It can hurt at a deeply personal level. Troubling questions abound: Who will feed my kids? Will I be able to keep my home?

It’s a good idea at a time like this to turn to God, even before you begin sending out résumés. Prayer brings both comfort and practical results. Divine Love fills all space, and this filling is an active and good process. There are no vacuums, no missing safety nets, no hopeless situations, because God is ever with us, right now, right where we are. We are not isolated, cut off, unqualified, or disqualified in His eyes, because we each are His much-loved creation. God is always developing good, and His gentle, sustaining power can immediately quiet fear and panic.

But, you may say, how can I feel His good presence, loving me? Here’s where Christ comes in. I like to think of the ever-ready Christ as described by Mary Baker Eddy, who founded Christian Science. In her book “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” she wrote: “Christ is the true idea voicing good, the divine message from God to men speaking to the human consciousness” (p. 332). Christ speaks to us all the time, bringing peace and comfort. It reaches us individually to uplift our thought to the intact and perfect nature of God’s creation, and our specific role in it. This must have a healing effect on our daily lives.

When Jesus was giving his Sermon on the Mount, he may not have been thinking of sudden job loss, but he surely knew that his listeners faced all kinds of uncertainty in their lives. His counsel seems applicable to today’s uncertainties as well: “So do not worry, saying ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ ... Your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matt. 6:31–34, New International Version).

So if you’ve received that unwelcome and unexpected pink slip, keep clearly in thought that God has never rejected you. You can affirm this idea in your prayers. You have never been downsized from the kingdom of heaven. The qualities God has given you – intelligence, strength, diligence, accuracy, creativity, assurance, effectiveness, and many more – have value. And divine Love already has a place for you, where that value will be seen and fully employed.

Listen for Christ’s message voicing good, bringing hope and direction. This wholehearted turning to God will help you set aside feelings of rejection, remorse, or of wounded pride and personal importance.

This opportunity to set aside unhelpful views and to see the real, spiritual “you” is a wonderful preparation for your next step, always under God’s loving care.

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