A way out of difficult times

While at times there may seem to be no way out of a difficult situation, today’s contributor shares how learning more about her relation to God led her to a solution in her time of need.

Christian Science Perspective audio edition
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My once happy neighborhood did not seem very happy anymore. We were in an economic downturn, and houses were sitting on the market for a long time. Nothing was selling. This made it difficult for some neighbors because, to them, selling their house was key to recovering economic security.

The unhappiness that hung over the neighborhood was also making me unhappy and unsettled. My heart yearned to help find an answer to this community concern.

I have faced difficult times of my own in the past, and at such times I have found that feeling secure and satisfied doesn’t come from the assets I have accumulated or the wages I have earned. Rather, I’ve learned that security and satisfaction come from an understanding that we all have a permanent relation to divine Spirit, God, as His creation – and that the good we seem to be lacking is first found in an understanding of the unlimited spiritual good God freely provides. Then it takes form in meeting our practical needs.

To help illustrate: During a time when I needed to find a new home in an unfamiliar area, and with very limited finances, I looked at many places and found no solution. I then began to lean on an understanding of my unbreakable relation to God, and when I turned to God in prayer, I saw that nothing could stop God’s goodness from being manifested in my experience, and that I could expect to feel His guidance during this process. It wasn’t long after I took this stand that it became clear to me to choose a particular place I had seen, even though my agent was convinced it was not right for me. As I went forward with this idea, negotiations with the owner proved to be fair, and the selling price agreed on accommodated my modest budget. This home has continued to be a blessing since the day I moved in!

At times when we seem to be lacking something, biblical wisdom can help steer our thinking in a new and inspired direction. For instance, Christ Jesus advised: “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal” (Matthew 6:19, New Living Translation). To me, Jesus’ words confirm that security and satisfaction aren’t to be sought or found in material possessions, nor are they subject to the impact of the conditions around us. Instead, we can look away from the material limitations we face to a more expansive, spiritual sense of our being – and this will bring fresh ideas and opportunities to light.

Throughout Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, he encouraged his listeners to look for and express spiritual goodness in their lives through Love-derived qualities such as humility, kindness, integrity, and unselfishness. And he assured all that the conscious effort to understand and express divine goodness inevitably brings to light the blessing of divine Love in our lives, including the meeting of our human needs. Christian Science, as discovered by Mary Baker Eddy, has helped me to demonstrate this truth.

As I prayed about the situation my neighbors were in, and pondered some of these ideas, my trust in God and His care for all was strengthened. I began to feel a sense of expectancy and hope creep back into my days. I was even able to share some of these uplifting ideas with my neighbors.

Then, I noticed renewed real estate agent activity in the area. I was so grateful when several houses sold within a matter of months, freeing these neighbors to move forward. Also, the new families who moved into the neighborhood brought a fresh sense of joy with them.

It is understandably tempting to get anxious, feel depressed, or give in to fear when it seems there’s no way out of a situation of lack. But as we humbly listen in prayer for a greater recognition of our relation to God, and recognize how near to us God, good, always is, we will find resolutions to difficult situations. We can expect to see the realization of this promise, stated in the book of James in the Bible: “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (1:17).

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

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