A path out of hopeless situations

Left without money, home, or job, today’s contributor found practical answers to her needs as she gained a life-changing conviction that God abundantly cares for all.

Christian Science Perspective audio edition
Loading the player...

Absolute darkness lay before me as I approached the bridge on the country road. It seemed as if I’d driven into a black abyss. There was no reflection of anything ahead of me in the headlights – nothing I could see to indicate that the road kept going on the other side of the bridge. I just knew that it did.

I couldn’t help feeling that this drive over the bridge was a metaphor for my life at that moment. Adverse circumstances had left me with no money, no job, no home – just the car I was driving and a few belongings. I had no idea what lay ahead. But, as certainly as I knew the road continued on the other side of the bridge, I knew that I could trust God.

I often find comfort and inspiration in the Bible, which has so many accounts of God providing a way forward and needed supplies in what seemed to be hopeless situations. One is the story of Moses leading the Israelites, who had been enslaved in Egypt, to freedom (see Exodus 12:37–17:7). When they came to the Red Sea, they seemed to lack a way forward. But God parted the sea for them. And later, where there had been no food, sustenance appeared.

Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science, uses this Bible story to illustrate the mental journey we can take from fear to a higher understanding of God’s unceasing care. In “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” she writes, “As the children of Israel were guided triumphantly through the Red Sea, the dark ebbing and flowing tides of human fear, – as they were led through the wilderness, walking wearily through the great desert of human hopes, and anticipating the promised joy, – so shall the spiritual idea guide all right desires in their passage from sense to Soul, from a material sense of existence to the spiritual, up to the glory prepared for them who love God” (p. 566). If we love God and desire to obey Him, we will find that we gain a more spiritual sense of existence, a deeper understanding of God’s care for us, His spiritual creation – and that this change in thought manifests itself practically in our lives.

For several years prior to that night on the bridge, each month I’d faced a pile of bills with paychecks that seemed woefully insufficient for paying them. Very fearful, I would leave my desk, pace the floor, and pray – often into the night. I would affirm that our all-loving God is already supplying every need for His children, and I would ask Him to help me see this in a way I could understand. Then I would feel calm and return to the desk to decide what could wait and what couldn’t.

As each month progressed, ways would be found to pay the bills. I was always grateful. But the next month I would go through this all over again.

Yet I had learned in Christian Science that God is infinite, and it is impossible for infinite goodness to run out of anything. Therefore, it is impossible for His children to lack anything needful. This idea was always in the back of my thought, and together with the Bible accounts of abundance and my own monthly experiences paying the bills, it was an idea that prepared me for the permanent end of my habitual concern about supply. That night, over twenty years ago, the fear of lack ended for good. I humbly yielded to a total trust in God on that dark bridge. I was no longer tempted to feel that my well-being and supply depended on anyone or anything but God.

Initially, I still didn’t have anything beyond what I had been driving down the road with. But as something was needed, it came along. I found I was led in wonderful directions I never could have imagined. Yes, I did eventually start receiving paychecks again, but I no longer considered them to be the fundamental source of my supply. They were instead evidence of the spiritual abundance I know I will always have from God, our dear Father who always provides for all.

I have learned that when we face lack in our lives, God’s abundance is already present to be revealed to us. When we come to understand and accept God’s goodness and care, the result is a sweet sense of His provision that tangibly blesses our lives.

Adapted from an article published in the May 28, 2018, issue of the Christian Science Sentinel.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

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.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to A path out of hopeless situations
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today