From time to time I hear from people who have problems or are facing situations they believe to be hopeless. What often gives them an initial shaft of light is to point out that if they were actually hopeless, they wouldn’t be reaching out for help through prayer. My work as a Christian Science practitioner is to give this kind of help. Prayer reaches into the darkest corners of thought and supplies healing and transformation, including the restoration of hope.
Emily Dickinson uniquely captured the holiness and eternality of hope in this lovely statement from one of her poems: “Hope is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul, and sings the tune without words, and never stops at all.”
The reason we can’t be hopeless is simple. The Bible states in Psalms, “For thou art my hope, O Lord God” (Ps. 71:5). We can’t be without hope because we can’t be without God. As His children we enjoy inseparability from Him. Deity cannot be without its expression, the image and likeness called man, which includes male and female. Nor can man exist without God. This spiritual relation is an eternal truth, and it has the power to lift us out of despair, dismay, disease, and disaster of any description.
Every situation we confront has a spiritual solution. It’s right where the problem appears to be. And if we let hope take the lead, and are willing to turn to God as often as necessary, the solution will take shape in our lives.
God is always at work on our behalf. He is our helper, guide, deliverer, and healer. God accomplishes this good for us by being All. His omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence preclude discordant so-called forces and destructive influences on us.
As we seek spiritual solutions, at times we may make the mistake of taking our eyes off God. Outlining the answer to our problem is a frequently traveled detour. Another is impatience. Avoiding these missteps reveals the way clear that previously appeared to be blocked.
I’ve had all sorts of experience with this – both with the detours and the learned wisdom to stay focused on God as my answer. I have relied on God, hoped in Him, in all sorts of situations. One example of turning to God was when economic pressures seemed to overwhelm my husband and me.
He was in the last semester of graduate school, and we had borrowed the maximum that we could. When the last payment was due, we had no funds to pay it. It seemed that what we had begun was all going to be lost if we couldn’t make this payment. Both of us prayed in earnest. Two weeks before the due date, we still had no options in sight. Then, on a quiet Friday night, as we were praying, the phone rang. It was his grandfather reporting that some objects we were due to inherit after he passed on had fallen off a shelf in a warehouse and had broken. He was calling to find out if we wanted them repaired or if we wanted the insurance money from their loss.
He asked us to think it over and he’d call back. Though it was tempting to jump for the check, whatever it would amount to, we decided the higher road would be to defer to his judgment. After all, these objects were things he and his wife had collected and loved over the years.
The next night when he called, we told him we would take his recommendation. He said, “Well, I’d take the check, myself!” The check was issued and arrived the day before our payment was due. It was within pennies of the amount we owed the school.
This was wonderful proof of a statement Mary Baker Eddy made in the textbook of Christian Science, which is full of hope and healing: “Life is God, good,” and goes on to conclude that “evil has in reality neither place nor power in the human or the divine economy” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 327). Evil in this case was fear, limitation, and feeling that we could be without help in the face of this need for funds.
Starting with God as our hope, we are secure; hope cannot be dislodged. And hope opens the way in every instance for the spiritual solution we need.