Recently, my husband and I were discussing the use of a financial services computer application we have used over the past few years to regularly track our finances. We realized that for a variety of reasons, the advice the app was suggesting was no longer relevant or helpful. We found the situation both amusing and a reason to question our continued use of the app.
It was a good reminder that while such apps can be useful and have their place, they’re not all-knowing. By contrast, I’ve found that turning to God, Spirit, always provides solutions in all areas of life, including with financial issues.
Thinking about this reminded me of an experience I had in graduate school. During the first year of the program, I was confronted with two bills of equal amounts. One was my federal tax bill. The other was the state registration for my car. I had enough funds to pay one bill, but not both. It looked as though I would have to choose between delaying payment of the tax bill and incurring a penalty, or driving my car illegally.
I did what I have always found helpful in times of needs of any kind: I prayed.
My prayer wasn’t a petition to God for more money, but rather an affirmation of what the Bible teaches about the allness and goodness of God. In my study of Christian Science, I have learned that God is not an arbitrary source of good, but is infinite good itself. And as God’s spiritual offspring, created in His likeness, we are the complete and entire manifestation of His goodness, without lack or imbalance. There is never a void in God or His creation.
Understanding something of this divine law brings tangible help, as Christ Jesus illustrated when he fed a multitude in the wilderness (see Matthew 14:15-21). Looking at the assets at hand (five loaves of bread and two fish), it didn’t seem that this could possibly feed more than 5,000 people. But it did – with 12 full baskets left over!
I also found inspiration and comfort in what Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science and founder of this newspaper, wrote about the provision that comes from God’s love in her book “Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896”: “God gives you His spiritual ideas, and in turn, they give you daily supplies. Never ask for to-morrow: it is enough that divine Love is an ever-present help; and if you wait, never doubting, you will have all you need every moment” (p. 307).
This helped me see that we can trust that God, the infinitely good divine Mind, meets our needs, even if this isn’t obvious based on the evidence at hand. And God does not take from one individual to give to another. His resources aren’t limited, and He doesn’t need to ration out His goodness. God is always bestowing on His creation endless love and care. No one is left out of this.
As I prayed with these ideas, the fear of not being able to pay my bills disappeared. A growing awareness of God’s goodness had met the root of my need: to feel God’s love for me, and to feel His peace. I felt confident that a solution would present itself.
A couple of days later, my boss at my part-time job called me into his office. He explained that an innocent mistake had been made: In the past few days he had realized that I was owed back pay. The amount was exactly the amount I needed to be able to pay both bills on time.
This experience was evidence to me that the spiritual ideas I had been applying to this situation had revealed a solution.
God is providing to all of us, at each moment, the truth about His love and care for us and His infinite, ever-present goodness. Embracing this truth brings about practical outcomes.