Trusting God to direct our path
A Christian Science perspective: Facing bankruptcy, one business owner prays for answers.
A while back, I’d been trying to sell the business I owned. Two years had passed with no success. The first attempt had fallen through at the 11th hour after a year of tough negotiations. Then I found another buyer and was ready to sell after another full year of hard work.
But the night before the closing, the deal began to fall apart. The buyers’ lawyer had not secured an important license for his clients, which put them in a precarious position. He tried to transfer the burden of risk to me. This meant I would have had to sell them my lease, but receive no money until their license was in place, which could have taken up to six months.
Unreasonable as that was, it also seemed impossible, as I had already closed the business and let the employees go to give them time to find another job, leaving me with no income to pay the rent. He seemed to have me between a rock and a hard place, and I only had a matter of hours to make my decision before the closing, with the threat of bankruptcy looming.
Moments like this can cause us to ask, “Why me?” But through my lifelong study of the Bible and its companion book, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by Mary Baker Eddy, I have learned not to ask, “Why me?” but rather, “Father, what great blessings do You have in store?”
I have learned that God is actually all-powerful and ever present – constantly guiding His children with love and assurance. Obeying the First Commandment, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3), meant availing myself of this great and only power that is wholly good and created everything good, as it states in Genesis 1. I did not make a “god” of an opposite power that could harm me, meaning that this lawyer could not interfere with my well-being. I could see that he was truly God’s child too, and because he had no control over my life, I was able to forgive him.
This potentially paralyzing moment actually turned into a moment of rejoicing for me. The Bible guides us to: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3:5, 6). And that is exactly what I needed at that moment: clear guidance on what path to take!
Humanly speaking, there was no way out of this situation. But God’s ways are higher than our ways, and I had learned to rely on God in smaller matters my whole life. There was no reason I couldn’t rely on Him in this situation, because the Principle, or law, governing me and everyone was the same – namely, divine Love.
Mrs. Eddy uses seven Bible-based synonyms for God in Science and Health: “Principle; Mind; Soul; Spirit; Life; Truth; Love” (p. 587) – and I found myself being blessed by this expanded understanding of God’s nature. Passages such as Psalms 139:7 reminded me that my life is at one with God: “Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?”
Rather than feeling lost in the wilderness of despair (which never does us any good), I chose rather to trust God to “furnish a table in the wilderness” as described in Psalms 78:19. I felt an overwhelming sense of peace and gratitude to God for being all-powerful Mind and Love – for guiding every aspect of my life.
As I did, I was inspired to say – with complete confidence – that I would not sell my business to them, much to the lawyer’s and buyers’ surprise. I felt deep in my heart that trusting in God would save me from what otherwise seemed like an impossible situation.
Even though my previous two attempts at selling the business had each taken a year, my broker found a new buyer who had made an offer within a matter of hours and flew over from France to meet with me. We agreed on a much more beneficial sale and closed within three months.
Trusting God and saying “Father, I don’t see a way out, but as divine Mind, I know You do and will guide me,” made me receptive to the steps I should take – steps that led to freedom, dominion, and great joy.
This article was adapted from the Oct. 13, 2016, Christian Science Daily Lift podcast.