A number of years ago it seemed the right time to explore the possibility of some freelance work in a field I had been interested in for a long time and for which I felt I had some talent. I took significant steps to prepare for the work and was certain I had what it took to do a good job. A few modest opportunities came along as a result of promotional efforts, but nothing much ever developed. There were, I saw, appropriate reasons why things didn’t come together as I thought they would, but I still wondered why this talent wasn’t being more fully utilized.
Within a year, though, a full-time opportunity did come along in that field in a much more meaningful form, more appropriate for me from every standpoint. So as it turned out, something better had been waiting right around the corner, but it wasn’t apparent to my limited vision at the time. This taught me an important lesson, one about God’s care for the steps in our lives, one that I hadn’t learned in quite the same way before that experience and that I’ve had to remember going forward.
It can be difficult when a legitimate desire isn’t coming to fruition, or when it appears that a talent is underappreciated or underutilized. Such things seem to be a built-in part of the common view that life is separate from God, our loving creator, and that it involves ups and downs, good times and bad, and obvious inequities everywhere you look. But the Bible speaks of a higher view of existence. It reveals God’s beneficent, just government of His creation. The Scriptures assure us very simply, “The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works” (Psalms 145:9).
Often it seems that just the opposite is true: that good is elusive or very much out of sight. When that seems the case, these words from the Bible have turned me in a helpful direction: “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit” (I Corinthians 2:9, 10).
As I’ve been reminded many times, regardless of the challenge, there’s a need to subordinate the often dead-end reports of our eyes and ears to a developing spiritual perception of God’s presence and goodness. It’s increasingly important to discern the completeness of what God has established, which the Bible says is “very good” (see Genesis 1:31).
That’s not always easy, whether we’re dealing with frustrating employment prospects or other issues. But Christ Jesus’ healing ministry illustrated a subordination – even an unequivocal rejection – of discordant appearances through an understanding of the harmony that God is always expressing in His likeness, man. It’s an example that we can take even small steps to follow.
In accord with Jesus’ example, Christian Science encourages us to be guided more and more by our spiritual sense – our God-given ability to discern the presence of good – rather than by surface appearances. If physical sight and other aspects of human perception haven’t had evidence of the good that God has prepared, certainly spiritual sense can open the way to seeing and experiencing it.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes, “Spiritual sense, contradicting the material senses, involves intuition, hope, faith, understanding, fruition, reality” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 298). It’s spiritual sense that involves fruition, not a superficial material analysis of things.
The outward view of a particular situation can seem to be an unalterable fact. But spiritual sense enables us to discern the reality of God’s infinite goodness present now, everywhere, as the actual state of being, despite what appearances insist is true. Spiritual sense – cultivated through prayer and day-to-day efforts to “seek ... first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness” (Matthew 6:33) – develops a conviction that reality in its truest sense is totally spiritual, expressing the harmony of God’s nature as pure Spirit, and that man’s true status is His immortal image, whole and satisfied.
This is a reliable basis for hope and an expectation of progress. It’s the basis for seeing outward evidence of the fulfilling of a right desire. It’s the basis for ongoing fruition in our lives.